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Team Norms. What are norms?. Norms are defined as, “The mutually agreed upon standards of behavior.” Norms usually involve communication, consensus, conflict, and respect. Social norms, norms of collaboration, societal norms, and educational norms are examples. Why are norms important?.

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what are norms
What are norms?
  • Norms are defined as, “The mutually agreed upon standards of behavior.”
  • Norms usually involve communication, consensus, conflict, and respect.
  • Social norms, norms of collaboration, societal norms, and educational norms are examples.
why are norms important
Why are norms important?
  • Sociologists believe that it is upon norms that societies are built.
  • It is also true that it is upon norms that teams are built.
  • Norms help to alleviate roadblocks to communication and collaboration.
examples of norms
Examples of norms

Garmston and Wellman’s “Seven norms of Collaborative Work”:

1- Pause

2- Paraphrase

3- Probe

4- Put ideas on the table

5- Pay attention to self and others

6- Presume positive intentions

7- Pursue a balance between advocacy and inquiry

examples of norms5
Examples of norms

Ford Motor Company

1- Help each other be right, not wrong.

2- Look for ways to make ideas work, not for reasons that they won’t.

3- Don’t make negative assumptions.

4- Help each other win and take pride in victories.

5- Speak positively about each other.

6- Maintain a positive attitude.

7- Do everything with enthusiasm.

8- Whatever you want, give it away.

9- Have fun!

developing norms
Developing norms
  • On each of 5 note cards, write something that is a barrier to effective teams.
  • On the other 5 note cards, write something that is a promoter of effective teams.
developing norms7
Developing Norms
  • Choose one member to read their 10 cards.
  • If anyone has a duplicate card, discard it.
  • Continue until everyone has read their cards.
developing norms8
Developing norms
  • Have a recorder write all remaining cards on a notepad in list form with promoters on one page and barriers on another.
  • Each group member will be given 6 stickers to use to vote on the 3 most important promoters and 3 most important barriers.
developing norms9
Developing norms
  • The facilitator chooses the top 10 vote-receiving items (5 promoters and 5 barriers).
  • The group converts these items to norms that will encourage the promoters and discourage the barriers.
coming to consensus
Coming to consensus
  • When the list of norms is completed, use the “Fist to Five” method to come to consensus.
  • Consensus does not mean that everybody loves the idea. It means that everyone has had a chance to speak their opinion, compromises are reached, and everyone will support the decision.
  • If consensus was difficult to come to, steps must be taken to ensure compliance and avoid sabotage.
fist to five process
Fist to Five process

Fist- “I cannot live with this”

1- “I need to talk more about this”

2- “I would like to discuss minor issues”

3- “I am comfortable”

4- “Good idea”

5- “I want to lead the charge on this item”

fist to five process12
Fist to five process

Based upon how important the decision is, determine which level is unacceptable. i.e. VERY important decisions cannot allow any fists, 1 or 2 fingers. Routine decisions cannot allow any fists. Any low numbers explain why they voted that way and what compromise would be acceptable.

Determine how many rounds of voting or how much time will be spent attempting to come to consensus. If time or rounds run out, think about it and continue next time.

sabotage ideas
Sabotage Ideas

Have a conversation beginning with:

“I know that none of you would ever sabotage this agreement, but under what conditions would you be tempted?”

List the conditions and discuss the proper course of action should those conditions arise.

adherence to norms
Adherence to Norms
  • Periodically, teams must evaluate how well they are adhering to the norms and how well the norms are working.
  • A simple Likert Scale may be used as follows.
adherence to norms15
Adherence to Norms

Assessing our norms

Low High

Norm 1

Norm 2

Norm 3

Norm 4

Norm 5

Norm 6

adherence to norms16
Adherence to norms
  • After each individual assesses how the group is doing, have everyone transfer their responses to a notepad.
  • The group then discusses strengths and weaknesses in adhering to the norms.