Build high-performing teams

Leadership and Management Certification Series

Table of Contents

It’s clear that getting the right employees for a position is important, but even with the perfect person in each role, you still need to consider how each employee will work with one another. An organization’s success is largely determined by its employees’ ability to work together efficiently to achieve goals. Whether you’re adding a new member to an existing team or building a new one, effective leaders should advocate for self-awareness and flexibility among team members.

This course will cover how you can execute your team strategy effectively through talent optimization by creating self-awareness among team members and strategies to manage their relationships.

Create team self-awareness.

When thinking about high-performing teams, it’s important to first consider how “I,” as an individual, work. Everyone on the team, including team leaders, must have self-awareness of their own behavioral preferences and abilities before they can understand others. Using tools such as the PI Behavioral Assessment™ will allow you to not only understand yourself, but also allow your team to get more insight into what motivates and drives others on the team.

For example, you might have an employee that seems reserved or quiet in meetings and who doesn’t often speak up. Understanding this may be due to how they’re wired to work can help others better support this teammate, possibly by giving them advanced notice of when they’ll be expected to share. Or you might realize that, while some of your team members like to meet and talk things out, others prefer to digest information in advance before sharing input.

Considering me + others

What’s my natural behavioral style and preferences?

Me + 1 (one-on-one relationships):
How do I interact with individual team members?

Me + we (team dynamics):
How well do we work as a cohesive group? How do we communicate? How do we make decisions?

Manage team relationships.

Each person has their own preferences and drives. Without an understanding of these differences, a team will never be able to maximize their efforts. The Relationship Guide can be a helpful tool for other awareness. Using it, you can look at how to work best with others on the team, or review strengths, cautions, and tips for the relationship between two employees on your team.

Try it out! 

Use this behavioral awareness to help employees better understand each other and how to work best together. Have them compare behavioral similarities and differences, then consider how they can leverage their strengths and avoid potential areas of conflict.

As a manager, use knowledge of behavioral drives to establish goals for each team member. Consider what will be a stretch for them, and how their strengths can best support the team. Tailor your advice based on how each employee takes action and deals with risk.  

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Not sure how to start? Check out the PI Management Strategy Guide.

Create flexibility and adaptability.

As how we work changes, team flexibility becomes paramount. Roles can change from project to project so it’s important for each member to be able to adapt where needed. As a manager, you should always set clear expectations for the team, but you can use the behavioral drives to determine if you should limit how to achieve those goals. Do these individuals require step-by-step instructions, or will they thrive when given the autonomy to solve problems? Regardless, be sure to provide continuous feedback on how the team is performing compared to their goals.

Managers should always compare the team dynamics with the strategy of the business. If a business has its sight mainly on increasing agility for this quarter, but your team consists of individuals with high process and precision behavioral drives, they may not be positioned for success. Monitoring your team and being transparent with where they stand can greatly improve results. You can do this more efficiently by using a tool like PI’s Team Work Styles, which will quickly show where the priorities of your business strategy lie in comparison to the behavioral drives of your team. Keep in mind, some teams might have members that differ from the overall business strategy but still make sense for that specific team. Even in an extremely agile company, you may want your finance members to be more aligned with process and precision.


Try it out! Use the survey to determine your business strategy.

But what do you do if you find drastic gaps in your team and business strategy where they don’t make sense? If possible, consider adding additional team members who align more to the current strategy to help the team during that time. We also recommend revisiting this tool anytime a new member is added. This allows the team to see how they can best welcome the new member and work effectively with them.

Sometimes adding or shifting team members isn’t always feasible. In this case, you should still use the tool but pivot the conversation. With awareness of the gaps between your team and the strategy, determine creative solutions. For example, if your strategy is heavily focused on agility but your team’s behavioral drives are closer to a results-and-discipline strategy, they may need to be willing to change ways they have historically  done things to accommodate the current business needs.