UCLA Extension

Building High-Performance Teams: Processes and Skills for Success

A 15-Hour Short Course

Organizations increasingly rely on high-performance project teams to compete in rapidly changing domestic and global markets. This course explores ways to add value to your organization by building both traditional (co-located) and distributed (virtual) high-performance teams that are focused on achieving results. Key success criteria for achieving high performance include effective team start-up, leveraging team members’ skills to the advantage of the entire team, and building trust among team members.

Participants in this course learn the processes and skills to lead and motivate people, align diverse individuals to common team goals, and optimize the use of collaborative communication technologies. Key topics include characteristics of high-performance teams; the stages of team development; team leadership and establishing team processes; developing team spirit and community; managing diversity, differences, and conflicts; selecting and optimizing modes of communication; developing trust across geographical distances; effective team leadership at a distance; analyzing criteria for team effectiveness; and measuring team progress.

Coordinator and Lecturer

Johanna Hallowich, MSc, President, Potencium Ltd., London, United Kingdom. Ms. Hallowich established Potencium Limited in 2001 after 20 years’ experience as a training and development specialist in Europe and the United States. Her focus is in international communication, cross-cultural diversity, and distributed/remote leadership. Prior to forming Potencium, Ms. Hallowich was a senior consultant for Canning International, a cross-cultural consultancy, and Rostrum Pharmaceutical Training, a division of MDS Pharma Services, a major international clinical research organization. Her current clients include Amgen (UK, USA); Cushman & Wakefield; Healey & Baker (Italy, France, UK); Eli Lilly (UK, USA); Emerson Process Management (UK); Getronics (formerly Olliveti, Italy); Novartis (Switzerland, UK, USA); Novo Nordisk (Denmark, Singapore); Orion Pharma (Finland); Telecom Italia Mobile (Italy); Vodaphone (UK); and Wyeth Laboratories (USA).

Ms. Hallowich’s style is highly engaging and motivational. She devises “learning experiences” on key international challenges that are customized to fit specific client requirements. Her programs simulate real business situations using case studies, practical exercises, and multi-media excerpts. She holds an MSc in Adult Learning and Education from City University, London.

Course Program

Setting the Scene

  • Introductions
  • The six “team essentials” and the discipline required for team performance
  • Developing team spirit and community
  • Effective team start-up (practical exercise)
  • The Wilderness Survival team activity

Communication Styles of Team Members

  • What makes a good communicator?
  • What first impression do you create?
  • Completion of communication questionnaire
  • Understanding the four styles of communicators and their impact on other people
  • Flexing strategies

The Life Cycle of a Team

  • Characteristics of Tuckman’s stages of team development
  • What leadership style is appropriate for each stage?

Belbin Team Roles

  • Understanding how different psychological types perform within a team
  • Ensuring there is the right balance of action, creativity, and interpersonal focus in your team
  • Completion of Belbin Self-Perception Inventory
  • What team role are you?
  • Application of Belbin team roles to your real team

Overcoming the Five Dysfunctions of a Team

  • Understanding what the five dysfunctions are
  • Examining each of the dysfunctions and identifying practical ways to overcome them

Trust in Teams

  • Why is trust so crucial in building a high-performance team?
  • The type of trust required by diverse team members
  • How can we build trust when we don’t see each other?
  • Video excerpt: illustrating trust
  • The concept of “swift trust” (Deborah Meyerson)
  • Applying “The Trust Indicator”™ to identify the levels of trust


  • What are the most common sources of conflict in teams?
  • Managing diversity, differences, and conflicts
  • The different layers of obstacles that prevent teams from resolving issues
  • Applying different conflict management styles (depending on the situation)
  • The nine strategies to help deal with conflict
  • Team practical activity


  • Achieving genuine team member buy-in
  • Clarity to overcome assumptions and ambiguity
  • Individual practical reflection


  • What is accountability?
  • The importance of peer accountability
  • Achieving team clarity through consistent team reviews

Achieving Results

  • Aligning diverse individuals to common team goals
  • Analyzing criteria for team effectiveness
  • Measuring team progress
  • Team practical activity


  • What makes a good leader?
  • The processes and skills required to motivate team members

Collaborative Technologies

  • Optimizing the use of collaborative technologies
  • Effective emails
  • Email protocol
  • Writing an email that achieves universal clarity
  • Real business emails from different countries

High Performance

  • Successful approaches to building team performance
  • What should a good team leader do?
  • The three vital signs of emerging high-performance teams
  • The seven characteristics of high-performance teams

Distributed/Virtual Teams

  • What are distributed/virtual teams?
  • The benefits of distributed teaming
  • Stresses within distributed teams
  • Developing trust across geographical distances
  • Effective team leadership at a distance
  • The key challenges to address (practical team activity)

The Success Factors

  • What does your team need to do to be even more successful? (individual practical activity)

For more information contact the Short Course Program Office:
shortcourses@uclaextension.edu | (310) 825-3344 | fax (310) 206-2815