Wrap-Up of Building High-Performing Teams

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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Svitlana Kostenko
Over the course of team lead Jakob's trainings, The Blue Widgets team, comprised of Lina, Gabrielle, and Amir, has learned a lot about how to be a high-performing team. However, they're still a relatively new team, with a lot to learn about each other's personalities, weaknesses, and strengths. The only way the Blue Widgets team will be effective is if each team member keeps in mind and implements the five components of high-performing teams now and in the future.

Let's review each step of the pyramid.

HR Pyramid


The base of the pyramid is trust, and that is because trust is the foundation of teamwork. On a team, trust is all about vulnerability - being open, admitting mistakes, acknowledging weaknesses, and asking for help. Building trust takes time, but the process can be accelerated. And it's important to keep in mind that trust within a team can never be complete and must be nurtured all the time.

To help the Blue Widgets team build trust, Jakob led exercises that included sharing about one's past and upbringing, and identifying each other's personal styles. He helped the Blue Widgets team agree upon two team norms: to express when they're not confident about a certain task, and ask for help when they've put too much on their plate.

What did you learn about your earn personal style? Did you think of any norms that might help your team build trust?


The next step in the pyramid is conflict. By learning how you react to conflict and developing sensitivity to the responses of others, you can increase your effectiveness as a team member. And, remember, even among the best teams, conflict is always at least a little uncomfortable.

To outsiders, conflict can range from appearing as artificial harmony or mean-spirited personal attacks. The ideal point, of course, is somewhere in the middle, which might be described as looking ''messy.''

Conflict looks like

To help the Blue Widgets team master conflict, Jakob led a training that involved identifying preferred conflict modes and situations in which conflicts arise and how to approach them skillfully. He helped the team agree to not leave a meeting without sharing their thoughts at least once, talk to people directly instead of behind their backs, and put difficult issues on the table, actively addressing elephants in the room.

What did you identify is your own preferred conflict mode? What team norms can you bring back to your team that might allow you to master conflict?


Next up in the pyramid is commitment. Commitment requires two things: clarity and buy-in. Clarity requires that teams avoid assumptions and ambiguity; that they end discussions with a clear understanding about what they've decided upon. And it's important to note that buy-in does not require consensus. Members of great teams learn to disagree with one another and still commit to a decision.

As part of the effort to achieve commitment, Jakob helped Amir, Lina, and Gabrielle settle on a thematic goal and supporting objectives. They chose the rallying cry ,''finished, deliverable blue widget!'' to help them focus their efforts and achieve commitment in the future.

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