4 Habits of High-Performing Teams

Over the course of my career, I’ve worked with dozens of leaders to help them build high-performing teams. When they first come to me, here are just a few of the challenges keeping them up at night:

  • “We’re just not communicating.”
  • “If I have to resolve one more conflict between [Person A] and [Person B], I’m going to lose my mind.”
  • “We all work hard, but we just don’t seem to be making progress.”
  • “I have a vision for this team, but I feel like I spend more time managing than I do leading.”


As I work with these leaders, we use a variety of tools, techniques, and insights to clear the roadblocks standing between their teams and their vision for the future, both short term and long term. Once those roadblocks are clear, we’re able to focus on implementing what I like to call the four habits of high-performing teams:

Habit 1: Setting Clear Expectations

I’ve heard it said that every conflict since the beginning of time has been the result of unmet expectations. People need to know what you, their teammates, and the organization as a whole expect of them; otherwise, how will they know if they’re doing a good job? Whenever you make a request of your team, be sure to communicate your specific expectations, including

  • Who needs to do it
  • What needs to be done
  • When it needs to be done
  • Where it needs to be done
  • How it needs to be done (what are the criteria for success)

As leaders, we can’t just assume people know what we expect of them. We have to set specific expectations and communicate them clearly.

Habit 2: Understanding Interpersonal Dynamics

The interplay of different personalities can be what makes a workplace fun and exciting … or rife with conflict. A good leader takes the time and effort not only to understand the different personalities on the team, but also to better understand his or her own personality.


I recently worked with a team that was dealing with interpersonal issues, and our first order of business was for each person to take a DISC assessment. Once we shared and discussed the results, the team was able to understand each other and incorporate that understanding in all their interactions.

Habit 3: Embracing Generational Differences

Did you know there are now four generations active in the workplace? We have the Baby Boomers, Generation X, the Millennials, and now “Generation Z,” all figuring out how to work together. Each generation has its own characteristics and traits, and once team members understand and embrace those differences, they can make the most of each generation’s key strengths in advancing toward their goals.

Habit 4: Managing Emotions

No matter how often we tell ourselves “it’s just business” or “it’s nothing personal,” emotions play a key role in how we interact in the workplace, especially during times of uncertainty. Mergers, layoffs, reorganizations, and industry downturns can cause anxiety, frustration, fear, and a host of other emotions that can get in the way of progress. Rathern than denying or ignoring those feelings, leaders need to understand how they can manage both their own emotions and those of their team members.


If you’d like to learn more about how you can build more effective teams, contact me for a complimentary consultation at info@arquellahargrove.com or 713-501-9344.

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