How to Create Healthy Group Norms for Team Communication
Group norms are the set of informal and formal ground rules that specify how people interact. The rules help members of the group determine how to behave. Advantages of clear ground rules within teams:
This is a professional note extracted from an online article.
Read more efficiently
Save what inspires you
IDEA EXTRACTED FROM:
Every team has rules, but few are intentionally crafted. This could have a negative impact. For example:
Setting up norms is easiest when the team is first created. It may take a special meeting at the start, but it saves time and diminish problems down the road.
Shifting group norms in an established team is possible, too. Cultivate positive behavioral expectations on high-functioning teams.
Creating norms requires the buy-in from most of the team members, including leadership.
The entire team needs to be engaged in the process for it to work very well.
When managers don't provide clear direction, employees will fill in the details with assumptions. However, what managers require may differ greatly from what the employees think their managers expect.
To avoid confusion, write down straightforward objectives and guidelines that are measurable and achievable. Then have a share-out of each person's honest opinions, so everyone has an idea of what is working and what is not. Decide on only three changes to implement at a time.
Group norms are most effective when everyone follows them. If everyone agrees to the norms laid out, it will be easier to hold each other accountable.
It is important to post your norms somewhere visible and refer to them often.
It's normal to expect that these rules will be bent or broken. The transition from unspoken to written norms can be smoother when it is decided in advance how to deal with the offense.
If you don't call attention to that norm, you inadvertently create a second set of norms. If a rule is expecting everyone to be on time and you don't point out when someone oversteps that norm, you're saying that it's not that important to be on time. Peer-to-peer enforcement with some humor is an effective way to enforce the norms.
They are not commandments set in stone.
It is valuable to continue to revisit them and change them as the team grows. Scheduling a meeting at regular intervals to provide feedback on the norms keeps the positive momentum going.
Google researchers found that the ability to take risks in a safe environment was at the top of the list of group norms and made for happier, high-performing teams.
SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:
Dr. Bruce Tuckman, a psychology professor, synthesized team development into four basic stages: Forming, Storming, Norming, and Performing.
This stage of teamwork is all about first meetings and first impressions.
What everyone needs most is a clear understanding of their part in the journey and a setup for building emotional connections. Setting goals together puts their skills and interests into the open.
Most teams go through the storming stage in some form or another because discord is inevitable. The key value to emphasize in the team is positive intent.
A little conflict is needed to bring upfront weak spots in projects and to bring new valid arguments to the table. But constant storming leads to the destruction of productivity, projects, and ultimately, the team itself.
2 more ideas
Physical presence does play a large part in moving our projects forward. Managing a project remotely requires a diligent and transparent approach to keep track and maintain the various tasks, deadl...
Creating accountability is a great way to manage the work remotely. Accountability is shifted to the teammates, who are now supposed to be responsible for their own work and decisions.
One way to build accountability in remote teams is to assign groups and let teammates hold each other responsible. Also make teammates share their work experience and any issues they face, publicly (within the team) so that it acts as a ready solution for others, reducing repeat work.
Even if the team is small, document, formalize and map each process, making it scalable and automatic.
Standard Operating Procedures, if used correctly in a remote setting, can act like a central nervous system.
6 more ideas
... that's capable of executing in a remote setup:
In a remote team, you'll need the right tools to make sure everyone stays on the same page and can continue to execute without a physical person standing next to them.
You likely will need a tool in certain categories like group chat and video conferencing to make remote successful.
Good processes let you get work done in the absence of all else. They provide structure and direction for getting things done.
A few examples from Zapier: