Whether you’re part of a group project at school or involved in “transdisciplinary collaboration,” working with others is a fact of life. We find ourselves on committees, task forces, and project teams, whether we like it or not. But as tough as teams can be, they certainly deliver results – and often with higher quality than might be possible from any one individual.
“The Team Handbook” (Scholtes, 1996) introduces the team challenge in this laughably understated way: “… when people form into teams, something always seems to get in the way of efficient progress.” Members worry about who’ll do what, whether they’ll get along with others, where their loyalties lie, and how the work will get done. These concerns are normal. So, too, are the classic stages of team development:
- Forming: excitement and anxiety as “transition-to-team” occurs
- Storming: tension and resistance as unfamiliar work methods are employed
- Norming: renewed excitement and cohesiveness as ground rules (or “norms”) are established
- Performing: understanding and acceptance of roles and processes as the team begins accomplishing its task
The keys to team success? Attending to members’ concerns and being mindful of the stages. Sometimes just knowing where the team is at any given point helps avoid unnecessary aggravation.
Scholar’s Secret works with teams of all sorts, helping them through tough transitions on the front end, guiding them through time-tested processes, and integrating their output on the back end. Team project underway? Contact us anytime for help!