Every employee that belongs to a team or workgroup develops ways of interacting with others. And for the team to function successfully, much focus is needed on interpersonal communications among members as well as with managers and employees outside of the team. A team’s success is determined by how a team decides, allocates work, and holds members answerable. Every collaborative and successful team based on unwritten guidelines or norms.
What are these team norms?
Team norms are nothing, but guidelines set by team members to have ease in communication and interaction on daily basis and will give hands-on information to an outsider of the team. These norms can be developed during a beginning of the team’s establishment or can be done on an early team meeting if it has already been established, with more norms added as the team sees it fit.
It is a measure to assess the behavior of each team member and assessing how well they interact in a different scenario. It also helps a team to find out weak spot and dysfunction of the team. Though members may not really mean to harm the team, the lack of an agreed-upon framework of interaction creates the potential for misunderstanding and negative conflict.
Team norm essentials
It is usual for teams to have trouble with certain aspects of interpersonal communication and interaction. Developing norms in these areas is much needed to ensure team success. Following are the few examples of how effectively team norms can work.
Team members as coworkers –The first rule is keeping all team members regardless of their roles and level. Respecting everyone’s views and ideas will help to create trust in each other.
Team members as communicators – All team members will speak respectfully of each other. In doing so, they will not talk down to each other, will positively recognize and thank each other for team contributions.
Team members in meetings – Everyone in the team should listen without interrupting. They should hold no side nor argue. They are required to attend meetings on time and always work from an agenda. Minutes will be noted at each meeting and end the meetings on time.
Team members as leaders – Leadership of the team will switch monthly, so everyone will have a chance to hone their leadership skills. If the team has a fixed leader, the deputy will be rotated.
Team members as they interact with other employees and managers – Members will have to make sure that they have agreed on what and when to communicate with other employees, including managers.
Team members as problem solvers and decision makers – Decisions should be made by an agreement on all team members. However, the majority will rule if a timely consensus is not reached. Meanwhile, conflicts should be resolved with the persons involved in the issue.
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