How to create high performing teams – Part 4: Performing

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Establishing high performing teams

Establishing high performing teams isn’t pot luck. Bruce Tuckman’s Forming Storming Norming Performing team-development model will, however, guarantee success! This proven method prepares team leaders for the ups and downs that are inevitable when establishing the new dimensions of a team.

In my previous posts I took you through what to expect during the forming, storming and norming phases that are essential to creating high performing teams.

The performing phase – maximum productivity and great results

At the performing stage, teams are fully established and achieving their goals with passion. The team is more strategically aware; it knows clearly why it is doing what it is doing and enjoys doing it! The team has a shared vision and is able to stand on its own feet with no interference or participation from the leader. As the team has a high degree of autonomy, most of the decisions are made independently, using the criteria agreed with the leader. There is a strong desire to over-achieve and, as the results come in, individuals gain a tremendous sense of satisfaction and motivation.

Conflict is dealt with easily

Disagreements will still occur within the team but now they are resolved positively. Necessary improvements to processes and structure are discussed and implemented by the team. Team members support one another and work harmoniously towards achieving their shared goal.

The role of the team leader

From time to time individuals might ask for assistance from the leader with personal and interpersonal development. However, the team leader’s main responsibility at this stage is to ensure that he/she delegates tasks and provides clear project specifications. Attending team meetings regularly to deliver these, whilst using the opportunity to give valuable feedback and appreciation, will ensure high levels of engagement whilst also providing a forum in which to address outstanding issues.

Avoid micro-managing

High performing teams can function as a unit as they find ways to get the job done smoothly and effectively without inappropriate conflict or the need for external supervision. The team is motivated and competent, autonomous and able to handle the decision-making process without being micro-managed.


The team will make most of the necessary decisions however, even the most high performing teams will revert to earlier stages in certain circumstances. Many long-standing teams go through these cycles many times as they react to changing circumstances. For example, a change in leadership may cause the team to revert to storming as the new people challenge the existing norms and dynamics of the team.

In conclusion….

High performing teams are highly focused on their goals and achieve superior business results. Is your team in formation to succeed?

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