High-Performance Team Behaviors

High-Performance Team Behaviors

by Richard Kasperowski

Comparative High-Performance Behaviors is an advanced assessment tool which enables data-driven continuous improvement for every team.

Created by:
Richard Kasperowski
Richard Kasperowski

What makes some teams perform “just fine”—and others, great?

They’re working on similar projects, carrying out similar activities—yet one group has consistently better results than the others. It’s not magic, nor some intangible set of coincidental variables you could never replicate. Instead, these standout teams have a specific set of behaviors in common—behaviors that support Team Emotional Intelligence and psychological safety. These behaviors can be learned and applied within your own teams, and they have the inevitable side effect of increasing the achievement of the collective performance goals.

What gets measured…

Comparative High-Performance Teams is the diagnostic tool to help you benchmark your own team’s behaviors, comparing them with the behaviors that make the difference in effectiveness. By observing and measuring how your team members connect, communicate, and collaborate with one another, it’s easy to identify what’s serving the psychological safety goals that correlate directly with performance increases.

Designing the transformation

Using these concrete, observable metrics, your teams will be able to agree on the highest-impact areas of improvement. Together, you’ll be able to design a bespoke program of training and coaching to focus on these behaviors. You’ll get guidance on specific practices to implement within the team and commitments and protocols to adopt collectively and openly as a group, holding one another accountable for creating the changes.

Agile and cyclical

After 3 to 4 months you can reassess team interactions, using the same metrics. You’ll be able to measure the behavioral changes—and the impact the changes have had on team performance and productivity. With continuous data-driven improvement, you can add on changes in manageable steps, iterating steadily towards the optimal set of team agreements and behaviors that work for you.

Every team, everywhere

Teams work together in an amazing range of industries, settings, and circumstances. Yet the universal patterns of human interactions are applicable, in their infinite complexity, to every group.

The high-performance behaviors in this framework have achieved improvement not just in agile software teams, but across a wide range of industries and team types, including non-work/community teams, distributed teams, and even families.

The Core Protocols and Core Commitments provide a flexible set of practices and principles that teams can adopt to increase their psychological safety and Team Emotional Intelligence in any setting. Comparative High-Performance Teams is the tool to help you assess how to apply them directly in your team for the greatest transformative impact, starting where your teams are right now.

Sample Survey Items

We say “Yes” to each other more often than we say “No”.
We frequently share our emotional state with each other.
When I want to clarify the purpose of a teammate’s behavior, I ask them what their intention is.
We have a mechanism that quickly and unanimously moves us toward results.
We build on each others’ ideas more often than we negatively criticize them.
We use concise words to describe our emotional state.
When I am expecting a negative outcome from a teammate’s behavior, I ask them what behavior they are expecting from me.
When we make a decision, all team members who are present indicate whether they support the proposal.
I can decline to participate in any activity at any time.

Sample Survey Items

Psychology safety foundations

We say “Yes” to each other more often than we say “No”.


We frequently share our emotional state with each other.


When I want to clarify the purpose of a teammate’s behavior, I ask them what their intention is.
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Richard Kasperowski

Richard Kasperowski

„Your transformation coach“

Richard Kasperowski is an author, speaker, teacher, and coach focused on high-performance teams.

Richard is the author of the new book, High-Performance Teams: The Foundations, as well as  The Core Protocols: A Guide to Greatness. He leads clients in building and maintaining high-performance teams that get great results using the Core Protocols, Agile, and Open Space Technology. Richard created and teaches the course Agile Software Development at Harvard University.

Learn more and subscribe to Richard’s newsletter at www.kasperowski.com

Comparative High-Performance Team Behaviors by Richard Kasperowski and Comparative Agility is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-SharaAlike 4.0 International License. Comparative High-Performance Team Behaviors is based on The Core Protocols 3.1. The Core Protocols version 3.1 is copyright © 2018 Richard Kasperowski. Version 3.1 of the Core Protocols is derived from the Core Protocols version 3.03 by Jim and Michele McCarthy. The Core Protocols version 3.03 is copyright © 2010 Jim and Michele McCarthy. The Core Protocols are available at thecoreprotocols.org.


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