How to start and lead a new team with success! Team development is an important first step!

Have you ever joined a new project team and it seemed dysfunctional? Team development, organizational behavior, building teams, personal development, and trust are critical to a team’s success.

Most of us have heard about the stages of team development, they are as follows: forming, storming, norming, performing, and adjourning.

“Psychologist Bruce Tuckman first came up with the memorable phrase “forming, storming, norming, and performing” in his 1965 article, “Developmental Sequence in Small Groups.” He used it to describe the path that most teams follow on their way to high performance. Later, he added a fifth stage, “adjourning” (which is sometimes known as “mourning”).” (Mindtools, https://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/newLDR_86.htm, accessed 2/17/2018)

This article will share some simple team development tips, to start your new team, in the most effective way, and jump start you from forming to performing!  If you wish to accelerate yourself through the stages to the performance, here are some tips:

1.  Give your team space to get to know each other, make sure to schedule a quick social event first so that people can start socializing in a non-business setting.  This activity helps to set an equal landscape where people can be themselves and everyone will feel minimal pressure to communicate. It will also help to develop your strategy by witnessing who is extroverted and introverted.  Extroverts may want to grandstand more and introverts will need to process questions and ideas before communicating their thoughts.

2. As a team leader, you will want to model appropriate behavior, your team will follow you and that includes acting like you. I suggest, in your first meeting, to share something about yourself and make it personal. The act of allowing yourself to be vulnerable will help to build trust with your team.  Encourage others on your team to share stories about their past as well. Trust is a cornerstone of team development.

3.  The second time you bring your team together for anything, encourage them to share their personal strengths and weaknesses, what challenges them within terms of business projects.  For example, writing documentation, working together or dealing with conflict. I recall sharing, with my team, that I tend to get distracted and also can be hyper-focused on certain tasks.  Then, I tend to work overly hard to solve a problem, when a simpler solution would be sufficient. But I’m also told my team that I love working collaboratively through difficult problems, and I do not mind helping to resolve team conflict.   Now, my team knows to call on me to handle situations but will watch to ensure I do not burn out on a solution. I was asked to help with several conflict situations and it made others feel better since they didn’t have deal with it, specially If that was there weakness.

Sharing our challenages and weaknesses,  being vulnerable, plus getting to know each other as people, will help to build trust, which lays the groundwork for a solid team experience!

Have you tried any of these tactics?

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