Why revelation beats affirmation in leading teams to high performance

Ask most people what they think is the thing that most often gets in the way of team work and they will probably answer trust. Trust is definitely the foundation of any high performing team. Teams that work seamlessly together in energetic pursuit of challenging common goals work hard to build the trust that has individuals prioritising the team’s goals over their own.

Teams that have built this trust however have first embraced constructive conflict.

They understand that the real gold is only available to teams that celebrate the diversity of perspectives, skills and experiences that each team member brings.

These teams recognise that you are in fact only a team when you can leverage this difference. That this is what gives the team the ability to magnify the impact of the individuals in contrast to what any could achieve on their own.

The leaders of these high performing teams know that to create teams that benefit from the exponential performance rewards of great teamwork, their role is to create environments where it’s safe to disagree.

These leaders:

  • search for diversity rather than seeking consensus

  • build teams that reflect multiple experiences and opinions rather than seeking team members whose behaviour, backgrounds and experiences mirror their own

  • focus on strength through inclusion rather than unity through sameness

  • invite regular feedback and encourage their team members to do the same. They don’t wait for the 6 monthly or annual performance reviews but are constantly seeking to know what’s working well and what could be better.

These leaders don’t look in the mirror for affirmation, but rather seek the true mirror of revelation. These leaders know that real leadership is enabling each member of their team to be the best they can be and that by doing this they will become a high performing team.