Group Norms That Work

Group Norms That Work


Hello, and welcome to Group Norms That Work. Some teams use norms very well, and others
donÕt. Very functional teams develop norms AND follow them. But when they donÕt, we
hear a variety of complaints from teams and their team leaders. Sometimes, a frustrated team leader will tell
us her team developed norms but they are just ignored. Other teams appear to get along very well,
but donÕt get very much accomplished. This team leader will probably say her team
is PRETENDING to follow the norms. Other teams might also not accomplish very
much but they resist having norms because one or
more team members think they are dumb or childish. Here are the five steps to norms that work.
Step 1 is to develop norms as a whole team. Most teams have done that process, perhaps
many times. Step 2 is to always have the norms posted
in the meeting area, OR have them listed right on the agenda, perhaps right at the top, or
down at the bottom of the page. Step 3 is for the meeting facilitator to verbally
review the norms directly from the list at the beginning of the meeting. Although this
may seem unnecessary, the verbal review is a group reminder, and usually takes less than
a minute. Step 4 is what most teams do not do. REMIND
each other when someone is violating one of the norms. The team needs to agree on a signal,
such as a time-out signal, or holding up the number of fingers for the number of the norm
being violated. If group members are not willing to do this, people will go right ahead and
violate the norms the team has agreed on. The final step, which most teams also neglect,
is to EVALUATE how well the group followed the norms at the end of every meeting. This
only takes a few minutes. It can be as simple as going through the list and having everyone
give a fist to five on each norm, and discussing any that are less than five to get a commitment
to improve. These steps are very simple. Try them with
your team and see what a difference they can make. And best of success to you!

Author: Kennedi Daugherty

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *