Five Rules of Engagement for Your High-Performing Team

Five Rules of Engagement for Your High-Performing Team

All teams should have rules of engagement, or ground rules. They are simply straightforward ways of being with each other that support a larger vision and purpose. One of the biggest benefits from rules of engagement is building trust, which is at the core of a high-performance team. In essence, doing what you said you would do.

Here are Five High5 rules of engagement for you to consider for your own team.

  1. Be present. This is about shutting down the chatter in your head and tuning in to what is actually being said and happening in the moment. It also means putting the phones and laptops in airplane mode until the meeting or conversation is over.
  2. Assume positive intent, and then assume nothing else. Because we bring our own stories into any interaction, we often mind read. Then we create a story about why someone is saying something, doing something or asking for something. When you find yourself doing that, shift your story to assume positive intent, which will have you listening much closer and helping to find solutions, instead of problems.
  3. Own your voice and speak your truth during meetings, not after. Our greatest asset is ourselves, and if we hold back from giving what we have to offer, we are taking from both ourselves and others. Have the courage to offer your truth, and respectfully allow others to do the same. This is about speaking your truth in the moment with the person or people involved. It’s not about speaking your truth to someone else in the hallway after the meeting. There’s a big difference!
  4. Present a solution for all problems. It’s not overly helpful to bring problems unless you offer a potential solution to get the ideas flowing. Don’t be the person who talks about all the ways something won’t work and doesn’t bring an idea of how to make it work or offer an alternative.
  5. Make mistakes. Playing it safe may lead to some level of success, however, it will never tap into the potential of what’s possible. To do that, we have to be willing to take risks and make mistakes. When that happens to someone on your team, utilize rules one and two, because you will want them to do the same for you.

Once your rules of engagement are set and everyone has committed to following them, it’s time to play at a new level, including holding each other accountable to the rules. This requires courage, and it’s the difference between having “rules of engagement” and “suggestions of engagement.” One will move you forward, and the other is just garbage.

Remember Leaders Go First! Be the example, and use these rules to create win/win for everyone!


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