For us to start a discussion on guidelines for the team, it’s crucial that we understand the concept of team guidelines in a context. They are the guidelines that the team has accepted to play. It’s much like the rulebook in a game or set of rules in the club. You could say it as having rules to govern the club. They are crucial in guiding and directing proper behavior in a group setting.
What should be included in the team guidelines?
The answer is simple only include what you’ll need to do for the team to ensure it is functioning efficiently and not include anything more. Some specific areas included in the guidelines are:
The process of team meetings, such as how often when, where, and how many people are needed to be a quorum, etc.
How team decisions are taken.
Who will call the meetings? Who manages the team?
What will the team’s documents that the members of the organization keep managed, and who will maintain the records (meeting minutes, etc. )?
Last but not least, What are the actions that the team considers crucial to their success.
When teams are established when teams are formed, members typically arrive at the meeting wearing rose-colored glasses. They are hoping to see the group work well and can achieve their goals within the timeframe and resources they have been given. However, this is not always the reality. Teams are increasingly formed to manage mission-relevant items that are essential to the business and consist of people from a range of places and roles with often opposing views as well as agendas, wishes, and desires. At the same time, team members might arrive at the team with the same kind of camaraderie as in an informal match of football, but the reality is usually quite different from the professional football team, with its hierarchy, personalities, and limitations. So how can the team leader manage this potentially challenging terrain?
Team leader, you must know your team.
It is crucial to know the people who belong to your team’s behavioral standpoint. If it is possible, the leader of the team should take a step back and examine the group and determine what disruptive behaviors might be present within it. Are there members who like to be on the offensive and never let them take control of the conversation? Do some members tend to be tardy? Are there people who don’t keep their promises? Do some people come off as wholly negative? Aggressive? Completely silent and inactive? Take a look around the entire group and choose some of the most destructive behavior and keep them in mind for the following action.
In addition to analyzing the destructive behaviors, In addition, the leader of the team must determine the positive behaviors that are likely to be essential so that the group can succeed. Does the team have to be flexible and think outside the box thinking? Does the team have to ensure it’s staying within the regulations? Are the issues or the project taking a long time that requires the team to remain together for an extended period of time (necessitating for the group to spend the time needed to adhere to the Forming, Storming, and Model of Norming and Performing), or does the project that is being undertaken required to be completed in a hurry?
With these ideas in mind, The team leader has to create a list of essential elements that should be included in the team’s guidelines. In the initial team meeting, the leader of the team or facilitator will lead the discussion around guidelines, where everybody is involved in identifying the most critical elements to group success if the group doesn’t discuss those critical issues that the team leader previously assessed the team leader might consider them in the context of the guidelines. The group then decides the guidelines for the group. It is important to note that for the majority of teams I’ve been involved with, the team leader has the right to claim some or all of the guidelines as their own, regardless of the consensus of the group. Sometimes, this is due to the fact that the team members don’t understand what the team leader is seeing, or raising it in a public forum could result in unnecessary tensions. It is crucial to ensure that the team leader only makes use of this option when it is it is necessary and only for two or three essential things.
How do you use the guidelines?
The guidelines should be posted at each team meeting. Post them in a prominent location where everyone can be aware of them. They should also refer to them at the beginning of each of the first meetings and thereafter as required.
When a member of the group violates any of the rules, the team leader reserves the right to call off the meeting and point out the rule of thumb that has been violated. So, the leader of the team does not become a parental figure (my Way or the Highway) and instead reminds members of the guidelines that were agreed upon at the beginning of the meeting.
It is a good idea to encourage participants to work together and self-correct each other. One way to achieve this is to play some fun with the rules. In several instances, I’ve made yellow pieces and placed a weight in one corner, and then handed them to all. I informed everyone that they were in the presence of officials and that they were the same as the officials of the National Football League. When they find someone in violation of the rules, all they need to do is to throw out off the flag. The meeting then ends. The group will discuss how to fix the problem. When I’ve conducted this exercise, the team was a lot of fun strengthening the norms, and the role of the team leader and facilitator was much more straightforward.
Enjoy using the guidelines to help keep your teams in order.