Author: Adrianne DuMond
Executive Coaches of Orange County
How often have you seen stated, as an organization’s Values — after the Mission Statement and Purpose are defined — the words honesty, integrity and respect. And then have you pondered the question — “Does our organization practice those”? These values may be difficult to put into practice in an every day environment without some work directed at them.
Building a team of people to aspire to these goals often means the organization commits time to learn how to keep true to them. That means defining norms of behavior to which a team will commit as they strive to work together more efficiently.
Let me give you an example of some of the pet peeves I’ve heard in exploring why a team is not working well together:
1) Meetings always start late;
2) She never tells us she’s not going to be at the meeting;
3) Our boss plays favorites when assigning the work;
4) Our meetings just last too long;
5) He won’t share his numbers (findings).
I’m sure you can add a few more of your own.
If this team takes some time to share what they do well as a team – what measures up to those values of honesty, integrity, respect – and then defines the habits they have that deter them from working together well, these shortcomings can be eliminated or lessened. This process can be done in a half-day workshop.
Depending on the degree of openness in your team, you may want to use an outside person to facilitate the process. If you have a good facilitator in the organization that is respected by the team, then it can be done in-house. There are six (6) steps to take:
1) Have the team list what is working as a team: their actions and practices that make the team work well together. List these on a flip chart.
2) Have the team list actions and practices that keep them from being better, more efficient and productive.
3) In small groups, determine actions and behaviors that will improve the situations and conditions. List them.
4) Have the groups share with each other their findings.
5) Make a final list and pledge to stick by them for the future. These are the new norms of behavior for the team – and probably mean that the team can say they uphold the values of honesty, integrity, and respect.
Remember to check progress in a few months to see if the action items are working and to make any adjustments. Good teams take their temperature every so often, just like people do to stay healthy.