By Barb Ward

Have you ever participated in a professionally led fitness class? If so, you know that the leaders are highly motivated, and highly motivating. They talk you up, they instill you with energy, they make you feel like you can achieve the impossible, and they inspire you—so you are ready to conquer the world! 

This is what good leaders do.

The ability to inspire people and help them achieve their best is a quality that is good not only for fitness instructors, but for leaders in every business, in every industry throughout the entire world. Additionally, good leaders see the advantages of bringing energetic, determined individuals together to achieve a common goal. Collectively, these teams are more creative, innovative, and productive than they would be on their own.  

Leaders of high performing teams have taken time to really know their employees and have built trusting relationships. When you know your boss has your back, you’re willing to work harder. In addition to trust, leaders of high performing teams have these traits in common, they:

Define a common goal. When every member of the team is working toward a common goal, one that is valuable to the organization, and that they have been personally selected to help achieve, they are more motivated to accomplish that goal. 

Clearly define roles. Each member of the team knows their role and the importance of it in the overall success of the project.

Communicate directly. Consistent, clear communication helps keep team members focused on the goal and helps minimize distractions and misunderstandings.

Cultivate collaboration. When differences are dealt with quickly and collaboratively, conflict can be successfully sidestepped. This diffuses the situation, illustrates the advantages of cooperation, and builds trust between coworkers. 

Inspire creativity. When it is known that “no idea is a bad idea” people feel more comfortable in sharing their thoughts, in turn encouraging others to speak up. Sparking creativity and innovation excites and engages team members, enables better solutions, and ignites passion for the project.

Create the culture. Valuing diversity of background, experience, and perspectives enables the team to problem solve more effectively and allows for better decision making and solutions.

If you are a leader, it takes commitment and consistency, but you can create and maintain a high performing team. Or, if you are a member of a team, you can make a difference in the way your team works together. You CAN do it. YES. YOU. CAN.

Ask yourself these questions:

How does your team interact? 

Does your team keep commitments with one another?

Do they communicate effectively?

Is there one thing that you could personally do today that would help your team function more smoothly?