The world has changed since Covid-19 and the issues, world conflicts and economic pressures globally, have increased the pressures on businesses and teams. It is becoming more and more critical to understand and apply the key steps to ensure success for organisations.

In reality, there is no high performing company as such. By that I mean that a high performing company is created by the accumulation of a number of high performing teams who are capable of consistently bringing extraordinary results even in the face of adversity.

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What should organisations focus on?

Strong teams ultimately bring strong results and differentiate themselves from other teams in competitor organisations. They do this by seeing where change is needed and making it happen, they create growth and deliver on the goals agreed and they are agile and adapt to the changes from within and outside of their team.

According to Gallup, high performing teams bring some 20% higher profitability and in fact when one compares the top 25% of teams with the bottom quartile, they seem to perform better across almost all key performance indicators set by companies irrespective of what industry or country or size. In other words, they find ways to deliver the outcomes needed.

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Having a team leader with managerial talents and the skills to coach their team members with a strength-based mindset focussing on raising the engagement of the team are the main factors that drive outcome in teams. The ability of the team leader to select, motivate, develop and allocate what matters most in the team is a differentiator that organisations can pay attention to and create.

Companies that are known across the globe such as Google attribute a lot of their operating successes to high performing teams. This is a concept that we know well in sports where it is about collecting a number of imperfect individuals that collectively can determine success. It is not about the individual skills of each member, it is about the collective roles of the team members and how they work with one-another towards the same goal.

It's about the collective talents of the team

You can put a group of very talented individuals together as a team but that doesn’t guarantee they will be high performing. Also, there is no one who is good at everything. Success occurs when the team leader brings a diverse and inclusive team together who share a common goal.

Team members in a strong team are often very different from each other in many ways. This is a truth that differentiates great team leader from average ones in that great team leaders understand and act on this truth. The fundamental truth is that we are all different from one another in some very important ways: We all have different combination of naturally occurring talents together with backgrounds, skills, knowledge, perspectives and experiences.

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That is one of the main reasons why coaching as a mindset and skills set increases the chances for us to see, hear and feel the differences that each person brings by observing and listening and enquiring with the intention to discover what brings their best to the team. In the meantime, the team gets to understand the difference that each person brings and to come together in a way that is productive and effective.


Each person may have very different motivators and drivers for being in the team however the desire to succeed is focussed on a collective goal rather than individual ambitions.

Team members through the leadership of the manager and sometimes with the assistance of a team coach get to know their own talents and where those can get them great results and also where they can create a barrier to their growth. They also get to know the same about their team mates and they come together owning the collective goal knowing they can create more as a team. This leads to support, collaboration, effective communication, celebrations of every learning and results achieve no matter how small.

The team is built on a foundation of trust and mutual respect. Each person knows what the other person is to do and relies on them to do that in time and with quality that represents the collective culture. There is acknowledgment of the contribution that each person brings to the collective team. Each person’s differences, opinions and values are respected.


A safe environment and trust, leads to strong relationships

The best innovations and results are created by the team knowing the risks and managing them and the failure that may occur. As quoted by Google, high performing teams thrive within a safe space where people can talk to one another without the need to protect themselves psychologically. This allows healthy challenges and honest feedback whereby team members can learn from mistakes.

To have breakthroughs in teams there is need for each person to know that their contributions are valued even when the desired outcome is not achieved. This way, they are open to share and explore and build on the learning.

This safe, collaborative and open way of working together starts, builds and grows trust between team members leading to co-creation of strong relationships and setting the environment for each person to be themselves and bring their best in their roles.

Listen actively to the whole person

Gallup work on strengths show that we all have a combination of talents and that some of us have high sense of empathy for example whereas others may be strong at analysis. When the talents are identified and the person owns them and actively and intentionally invests them in a team the results are extraordinary. This is where the team leaders are instrumental in ensuring that the dynamics of the team is aligned with the goal at hand for the team.

Studies from MIT and Carnegie Mellon (2010) found that high performing teams tend to have members who display high levels of relationship building talents which includes people who are naturally talented to pick up on the emotions of others listening to the verbal, non-verbal and intuitive indicators.

Active listening is a skill that can be learned and when combined with the natural talents that each one in the team holds, there is a stronger chance that the communication within the team and between members is more effective leading to more learning and discoveries of possibilities and potential that would have otherwise been lost.

Coaching builds a high-performance environment

What can be done if your company does not have a culture for enabling high-performing teams to excel? We know from research and experience that the team leader is a key factor in the culture within a team and their performance. We are referring to the need for the team leader to learn and apply the coaching mindset and skills and his role in building a strong team.

Here are five coaching competencies to consider in building the culture that enables teams to thrive:


  1. Embrace the differences

A strong team brings together a group of imperfect individuals who have a unique combination of talents, and supports them to bond together and create a perfect team. A coaching culture can encourage employees to e more receptive to the viewpoints of others and understand and embrace differences. There is a journey in the team members getting to know themselves and others better and benefiting from that awareness.


  1. Empower team to own their results

Team leaders need to coach the members towards success by setting direction and providing clarity about how each person can contribute and work together more effectively. A shared sense of responsibility and ownership of the team goals, decisions and behaviours is created by encouraging the team to drive this together.


  1. Build trust and a safe space

Team leaders need to be role models in being open, honest and self-aware. By seeing their own failures and mistakes and talking about their learning, leaders are giving permission for others to do the same. They create a culture that mistakes and failure are only learnings towards creating a better outcome and progress. They are sensitive to the team member’s differences and empathise and support each member.


  1. Encourage a growth mindset

Challenges are seen as the opportunity to learn and grow in the areas that matter most to you. This is a mindset that team leaders bring to their communication and behaviour every day and allow each person to play to their strengths most of the time every day and have the space to learn and grow. Challenging the team members with the intention of supporting them towards the very journey they have said they want. Frequently bringing effective feedback and powerful questions to all the interactions with a focus on areas of high performance and areas to develop with the next step in mind.



  1. Celebrate successes and learnings

Team recognition and acknowledgement is part of the culture of high performing teams. Thinking and believing that everything can be celebrated is a very strong mindset that leads to people on the team feeling energised and engaged. Hearing the words “thank you” and “well done” from the heart are appreciated – this is a human need! 

Taymour Miri

Taymour Miri is an ICF master coach and a Gallup certified strengths coach and more recently one of the first 136 coaches world wide to be awarded an Advanced Certificate in Team Coaching. He has 30 years’ experience in leadership roles and 20 years of experince in coaching. Taymour has trained over 1,500 coaches across five continents and is the founder of International Coaching Education (ICE).

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