#33: Understanding Team Dynamics (3) - NormingSaturday 27th August, 2011
Further to the previous section where we explored the Storming stage of team dynamics, as the team continues to develop they move in to the Norming stage.
Driven by the need to be productive, team members build confidence and momentum as they learn to work together.
The essential characteristic of this stage is team members learning how to interact with each other constructively. They must reach agreement on team operating practices for problem solving and decision making. This creates a tendency to focus on issues inside the team and requires adherence to structures (within the team and shared with other teams) to ensure coordinated efforts and progress. It is at this stage that the team has developed a level of trust in each other that galvanises the team.
Typical questions in this stage include:
- How can we maintain accountability for results?
- What is acceptable behavior for this team?
- How do we utilize the talent of the whole team to reach our objectives and goals?
- How can we move ahead (at some pace) and get things done?
Coaches can contribute through discussions and activities that:
- Align the team around decision making processes and the need to make speedy decisions to accelerate delivery
- Promote discovery, truth telling, developing leadership skills that bring about committed action and commitment
- Manage their image as a team to ensure that the perception of other entities across the organisation or extended enterprise recognise them for their achievements as a team
Coaches should be mindful of problems brewing that would cause the team to revert to the Storming stage. This does happen on occasions as the teams deal with challenging situations and is accepted as the natural progression of the team. Team members, or the team, may become self-congratulatory at this point and may need reminders on how they will be measured overall to ensure that they keep on track.
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