top of page

Developing high performing teams

Updated: Feb 20, 2023

I've recently been using this model from Patrick Lencioni on what makes for high performing teams. His model puts trust at the foundation for any team that wants to succeed.

When you have that solid foundation of trust you can build on to those next levels. Lencioni talks of two types of trust: common trust and vulnerability trust. Common trust being 'I trust colleagues won’t steal from me' or break the law.

Lencioni defines vulnerability-based trust as "a place where leaders comfortably and quickly acknowledge, without provocation, their mistakes, weaknesses, failures, and need for help. These leaders also recognize the strengths of others, even when those strengths exceed their own".

Vulnerability trust is having an environment where you can say ‘I don’t know’, 'I’m worried’, 'I disagree, can we consider another way?'. It’s about knowing that your voice is valid and that by contributing to the group, the group becomes stronger.

It’s saying (and being) how you really feel without fear of punishment or being shamed. When you have this trust, you can engage in healthy conflict; you feel free to disagree and be different from the group; to challenge, to ask questions. Ultimately, this challenge aids increased performance (and satisfaction). Individually and as a team.

With that level of conflict, you gain greater commitment from the group - even if not everyone agrees with the idea or proposal they still commit, because they’ve had their chance to be heard and offer ideas.

Commitment brings accountability - everyone is making sure others are pulling in the right direction, doing what they said they would do, supporting each other and driving each other on.

This leads to results - the whole group is focused on the team goal. They want to win for the group. No one is going off and doing their own thing for their own personal results, status or ego. They are committed to the shared vision; 'we're all in this together'.

Are you questioning your teams performance? When you stand back and reflect on your team relationship, which level are you at?

Do you have a connection and agreement on vulnerability trust? Do you feel able to disagree and challenge? Are you committed? Do you hold each other accountable? Do you have a shared vision?

Use this model to identify where you see your team sits, and work out what needs attention so that you can all perform better together.

Keen to find out more? I would love to hear from you about your team goals.


Gemma Brown is a Professional Certified Coach (PCC) with the International Coach Federation, working with individuals and groups to navigate successfully through transitions - be it career, relationships or life in general. Her belief is that when we confidently bring our whole selves to all areas of life, anything is possible. Transitions exist in both our personal and business life, and so often, the two fiercely overlap. Coaching with Gemma focuses on you as a whole, enabling you to identify your strengths, build confidence and to live a life with increased purpose and direction. Gemma works face to face with clients in the Cambridge area as well as via Zoom. For more about Gemma, visit her 'About' page or contact her directly.

52 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All

What I've learnt from two career changes

Clients regularly come to coaching to help navigate a career change. Having change careers twice, here is what I've learnt from the process.


bottom of page