• Third Thursday Tips

How to Create and Contribute to High-Performing Teams

One way to exceed expectations is to be a great team member. In this issue, we give some tips on creating high-performing teams and also how to best contribute as a good team member.

How to Create and Contribute to High-Performing Teams By Sydne Jacques Over the past 20 years I've seen many components that help to create High-Performing Teams. I'd like to share just two of the things you can do, starting TODAY, to add value to your team. First, think of a team of which you are a part (project team, organizational team, a volunteer organization, your family), and then see how you can apply the following principles.

1) Clarity for Team Members: ​​

Does everyone clearly understand the purpose of the team?

Vision: what do we want to accomplish by working together?

Understanding the individual roles on the team takes time and a lot of questions to ensure that everyone knows their responsibilities.

And my favorite – What are your expectations of me? (Besides bringing cookies of course!) I like to ask people what they expect: how often do they want updates on the work I am performing? What method of communication is best? How could I make life easier for them? How should issues be escalated?

2) Your Energy.

You make a contribution to the energy of the team. Each team has a different culture with a different kind of energy, and some are more positive than others. I have seen examples where one person can completely change the “feel” of team meetings, for better or for worse. Here is how you can affect positive change:

Be Positive! Ready to take on a challenge? I challenge you to go ninety days in a row without complaining. If you slip up, you have to start over again.

Start, Stop, Continue. Occasionally take time within your team to evaluate the things you do. Evaluate your meetings, your communications, and your processes. Is there something that you should start doing? (This newsletter was a result of one of those discussions in our staff meeting). Is there anything that we should stop doing? What are the successful things that we should continue doing?

By being more conscious of the clarity that we have and the energy that we bring to our teams, we can find additional ways to contribute and move from merely meeting expectations to exceeding expectations. At Jacques & Associates that’s always our goal!

The "Home" TeamBy Sydne Jacques

I love almost every team I have a chance to be a part of, but my very favorite is my “Home Team.” Let’s apply the two elements of High-Performing Teams to our families.

1) Clarity in Your Family: Have you ever talked with your family about creating a family mission or motto? Growing up on a farm in Montana, our family motto was “Work Hard, Play Hard,” and that was exactly how we lived.

  • What about roles in your family? Is it clearly defined how each person contributes? We all probably have a way to keep track of who does dishes or cleans the bathroom, but how about who plans the next family activity?

  • How can we exceed expectations for our family members? If our family members do things to exceed our expectations, do we take the time to tell them? One thing that we do in our family is to hold individual meetings with our kids each week. It is a time to have dedicated time with each child and review what went well in the past week, talk about their schedule and needs for the upcoming week, and provide positive feedback.Even though our kids are now teenagers, they still love to hear why we are happy with them.

2) Energy: Don’t forget to bring your best positive energy home!

  • Wouldn’t it be amazing to have ninety days without any complaining in your home?

  • Invite your whole family to participate in the Stop, Start, Continue activity—your kids will love being asked their opinion!

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