My top tips for guiding and empowering high-performing teams

High-performing teams are creative, social, innovative and deliberate. They have deep trust in each other, their purpose and in their abilities. They are often connected, and constantly seeking new ways to improve and celebrate and reward the improvements.

Have you come across the saying, “No one size fits all”? This saying is particularly correct when it comes to teams and groups. There is no one way to lead a high-performance team – however, there are though guidelines that can assist you in your new role.


1. Pay attention, ask more than tell or change

It’s not always about change unless expressed in your contract and statements of work. At this stage, I recommend asking and connecting, rather than telling and changing. The connectivity gained and the lessons captured will prove invaluable for future projects.

2. Roles, styles and accountability

Separate growth from development by managing performance development and individual development. For instance, by setting goals with employees and following-up with personal development planning and appraisals.

3. Be Agile

Agile is being nimble, responsive and able to work quickly, with ease and flexibility without losing efficiency. An Agile structure surrounds a leader with influential players in the workplace. It’s also a responsive and continuous form of feedback and data collection. 

3. Empower action

Empowerment catalyses continuous improvement, knowledge management, and transformation by removing the barriers to creativity, problem-solving, and innovation. By empowering colleagues, a leader encourages the team to feel free to express their ideas, feelings, take risk and problem-solving.

4. Responsive communications, feedback mechanisms and connectivity

Weak-ties are cultivated through single mediums of communication, while strong-ties rely on the use of multiple mediums of communication. Inspire an open, transparent, continuous and responsive feedback culture with corresponding mediums of communications and support infrastructures.

5. Be social and fun

Diving into a big project, day in and day out, can create a superficial impact on bonding in the workplace – spontaneity and fun is a good icebreaker. We can learn more about a colleague in a short amount of time, over a meal or video game, than we can learn from attitudes towards rules and policies for 6-years.

7. Acknowledge, reward and celebrate success

As a form of gratitude and mental feedback, it allows for reflection and evaluation of the team’s collective achievement. Organisations have different themes and styles, experiment with perks till you find the right social-technology mix for your organisation.


In conclusion, successful deployment of the skill-set available to a leader relatively depends on how well they integrate and can complement other areas of the business. The thing is, if a leader is not trusted, they can’t be seen as inspiring or trusted to resolve conflicts and develop talent.

Ensure that you (1) posses the knowledge and expertise (2) are prepared to learn (2) build relationships  (3) are empathetic (4) are open and transparent (5) are consistent (6) and you reward and celebrate success when it’s due, and vice versa (7) are fun and social.


Team UKFAST prepare for an evening of gaming

Published by John Adewole

Senior User Researcher

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