13. October 2022

The Four Actions Framework

In a transformational situation, high-performing teams at all levels are of course a key driver of success. In this context, I like and recognise the five practical suggestions made by Ron Friedman, Ph.D. in a recent Harvard Business Review article, based on in-depth research. Some of them may sound counter-intuitive.

  1. Pick up the phone
    Although phone conversations are becoming less common in the workplace, research has shown that high-performing teams communicate significantly more often by phone. Talking directly to each other strengthens relationships and eliminates costly misunderstandings, which contributes to higher productivity and better results.

  2. Strategize meetings
    Badly run meetings drain enthusiasm. It is possible to ensure more efficient and collaborative meetings by requiring participants to do advance work, setting an agenda, and starting with a check-in that keeps participants informed of each other’s progress. This not only leads to more productive meetings but also more fruitful personal interactions and relationships that lead to peak performance.

  3. Bond over non-work topics
    Research has revealed that personal conversations help us identify the shared interests that foster empathetic and authentic connections. As a result, high-performing team members spend significantly more time talking with their colleagues about topics other than work, such as sports, books, and family.

  4. Appreciate each other
    We all want to feel appreciated and respected by others. That’s why recognition from colleagues and managers is often valued more than financial rewards. Members of high-performing teams report receiving and expressing appreciation at work much more often than in lower-performing teams.

  5. Be more authentic
    High-performing teams are more likely to compliment, joke with, and tease each other. Interestingly, they are also more likely to express negative emotions at work in the form of cursing, complaining, and sarcasm. And why? Because suppressing negative emotions is cognitively expensive and reduces the mental bandwidth available for work.


Which of these practices do you use more and which less?

The Power of Co-Elevation

In a transformation, it is key to create high-performing teams that cut across reporting line structures. In this context, I very much like Keith Ferrazzi’s

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