One big thing that I’m currently working on is improving Teamwork and improving team collaboration. I’ve been helping some teams go through the “Forming, Storming, Norming and Performing” process and helping their organisations understand why this process is vital to go through. The process is well known by most Project Managers but it’s important to make sure that others in your organisation know about this and managing their expectations for what is realistic when a team first comes together.
I’ve been making a few notes about each stage and what are some tips if you’re going through this with your teams:
- Allow your team the time to go through this and don’t try to force moving into one particular phase
- Create an environment where they’re able to express their feelings and grow
- This process would also be done when there are new members joining the team
- Provide an opportunity for people to give you feedback
- Guide your team through the process
A lot of team members tend to use this phase to ‘suss’ out the other members of their team and work out the ‘personalities’ that exist and who they’re likely to be able to work with. During this phase, you need to make sure that the environment during meetings is conducive to working together and building a team.
- Give your team the chance to bond
- Team events and building sessions are good during this phase
- Try not to pressure the team either to work too intensively or to work together
This is the phase that a lot of people don’t like to go through as this tends to be signalled by conflict, tension and disagreements. You cannot
- Present the behaviour that others need to imitate and encourage a tolerant atmosphere
- Give the team the time to resolve their conflicts and interpersonal issues
- Be available more during this stage
This phase can seem like ‘the calm after the storm’. It can be useful to make sure that the team are aware that conflict is healthy and that all opinions are valid.
- Give the team the chance to perform
The last stage is where everything comes together and it’s one of the best parts of working together as a team. The clear goals from the team are known and everything is going well. The team is also taking on the authority to make the decisions that they need
- Enable the decisions to be able to be made. This can also highlight the future ‘team leaders’ in the team
- Look at the improvements that can be made in the team and work together with them.
This stage can happen when new members join, existing team members leave or there’s a new ‘make up’ of the team. What happens next depends on the changes made and the team composition. You can do a few things during this stage:
- Give your team the time to show you what stage they’re in and give them the space to work through it. It’s likely that when they’re going through this process again that they’ll be going through them faster and with more speed. It’s important to realise that conflict between the different team members can arise a lot during this time.