Creating Team Norms

Now that we have established the essentials of team norms, the next step is to create these norms so that each team member learn to interact with fellow members, as well as those outside of the team, effectively and successfully. If you lead a team that has difficulty of interacting with each other, perhaps you need to follow these steps in creating and developing team norms.

Form a charter – Draft a list of proposed team norms that you want to project in your team. You could also follow team norms from other work groups. You could also advise your co-members to make up their own ideas for team norms.

Gather your members – Schedule and hold a meeting to introduce the proposed team norms to your members. Make sure that all team members must be present at the meeting so that the norms can be "owned" by all of them. If one member is absent or does not attend, postpone the meeting for another day.

Let an outside person facilitate – It is best that a person outside of your team facilitate the meeting so that members would not feel that they are being "dictated" by a new set of rules. In the absence of a facilitator, let another team member lead the meeting.

Let ideas flow – Begin the brainstorming by brining out each of the member’s drafts for a team norm. Let them provide additional ideas as they come along. The more ideas generated, the better. Remember not to comment or critique on the ideas, and instead list everything on the board so the whole group can see them.

Discuss about these ideas – Once the proposed norms are generated on the board, you might want to cross out redundant ideas off the list. You can decide to keep all the group norms listed, or you can discuss to determine the group norms your group wishes to keep. Although there is no recommended number of group norms you can keep, it is best to let common sense prevail when you find there are one too many guidelines. You could also add new group norms over time if the team sees it fit.

Only pay attention to how you interact – Group norms does not concern all group behavior and therefore should not be legislated. What needs attention are the important interaction areas including effective conflict communication, and keeping commitments.

Commit to the norms – Once the set of guidelines has been agreed upon by all members, they are also bound to commit into applying the team norms, as well as telling each other if they believe a group member is violating these norms.

Distribute the list of team norms – After the meeting, distribute to all member the group norms that they have agreed upon.

Evaluate the team norms – After a certain period of time, such as every three months, evaluate how the team norms are affecting the group into achieving its business goals as well as its members’ relationship goals.

 
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