We started each meeting by going around the table with each person reciting one ground rule. When you finalize your list, get confirmation from each member by having them raise their hand to physically acknowledge they agree to abide by the group behaviors. The term was originally used to describe the rules of baseball that teams agreed to use in a particular venue, or grounds. That includes the actual, planned, and forecast. Meeting norms, or ground rules, set the foundation for how a team collaborates. Everyone understands the social contract — in a village you watch out for, support, and help each other.
Exhibit 6 — Scoring table from The Five Dysfunctions exercise In new teams the answers to many of the questions will be rarely 1 or sometimes 2 as the team members may not have had a lot of time to get to know each other or engage in specific areas that are covered in the survey. This makes it easier for the group to remember the norms as the conversation flows. Teams need to establish procedures for providing candid constructive feedback, addressing differences, and knowing when to bring in the experts to help to get the team on track. For example, if people are talking over each other, remind them of the norm to let one person talk without being interrupted. In this post, we explore how to make norms an ongoing meeting practice. In the model, ground rules are established in the forming stage, but if you can minimize the time between Forming and Norming, it is best to establish ground rules in the Norming stage. That approach to meetings aims at substantially reducing the amount of time the team members waste when people at the meeting are not ready to discuss the topics.
They do this by preparing their conversations and not backing away from, or skimming over, real issues and problems, even difficult or confronting ones. Rather than pointing fingers at each other for the poor results, they worked together to find solutions to reverse the decline. Leaders cannot sit back and watch, but instead must create and recreate the vision and team spirit that stops people losing heart and becoming lost. Give your undivided attention to the person speaking. Exposing team members to behavioral models may help overcome this problem and drive a better understanding of each others behavioral tendencies. Team norms exist whether openly stated or not. He notes that this contract ensures a culture of trust, encouragement, respect, accountability, and achievement.
Respect each other by not interrupting. Remember, the goal is to avoid wasting time in meetings or making bad decisions because people are unprepared or rushed to make a decision. It is helpful for teams to establish norms upfront. Make sure that everyone agrees with the rules. A few factors to be considered are: - Team location: Location of the team is essential in defining ground rules.
As the new team come to the table to discuss a topic the scribe reads back the information captured by the previous teams and each team builds on the initial ideas. The ground rules can cover a wide range of team member and project manager behavior. The team need to have a good understanding of the company strategy and how their results will align with the strategy. It is a good idea to make it a standing point of discussion in the Sprint Retrospective if anything needs to be updated on the ground rules. Come to the meeting with a positive attitude.
Team ground rules define a behavioral model which addresses how individuals treat each other, communicate, participate, cooperate, and support each other in joint activities. The scribe reports what people believe are the causes of each dysfunction and what the team members believe can be done to prevent the causes from impacting team performance. After one hour, most were either checking their phone or chatting about something with the person next to them. I recommend Virtual Team Success: A Practical Guide for Working and Leading from a Distance by Darleen DeRosa and Richard Lepsinger. You may have to read it to team and give a copy for reference. Once the team is familiar with the concept, you can select ground rules that are most appropriate for the meeting at hand and review them at the start of a meeting. Remember that the relationships team members establish among themselves are every bit as important as those you establish with them.
A combination of individual and team-based rewards is often best. So what are best practices for effective teams? We've worked with teams that created online team bios so that everyone knew their skill set, educational background, special interests, hobbies, etc. Too much emphasis on individual rewards can lead to in-fighting and resentment. One you understand group development stages, you can leverage that knowledge and be a more effective team or team member. In this stage people are more willing to think from a team perspective rather than an individual perspective.
As supervisor, your first priority in creating consensus is to stimulate debate. Somehow, over and above the daily struggle, leaders who get teams to click project confidence. A good starting point is the guide-line for physicians: Above all, do no harm. The key is to put in the time and energy needed to adhere to these best practices. If the rules are too many, it is easier for participants to forget them. So what is the solution? I call it the 30 minute meeting. We all wonder who will be the next target.
I have always maintained the view that succession planning is of importance, so backup of project manager is always there. We will be brief and focus on facts, not opinions. For example, discussing and agreeing on how you will schedule meetings across time zones, or defining team member roles and responsibilities, are important to manage expectations about such issues. I share this example to make the point that following what are considered best practices does not mean you are efficient or effective. Let us know your norm challenges and successes in the comments section or by tweeting to us at! Unauthorized reproduction of this material is strictly prohibited. Areas scored high and not identified as problematic should still be discussed by the team to determine which behaviors should be reinforced. This ensures that everyone is committed to moving forward together as a team.