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Build Your Team

Updated: Dec 31, 2018

There are several principles of team building a leader should keep in mind while building his/her team. Participants may volunteer or be assigned to a team. The implementation of these principles will ensure that the team stays focused and satisfies its intended purpose. A leader should consider following these principles when building a team.

  • Promote a group goal to serve others.

  • Give its members an opportunity for personal growth and organizational effectiveness.

  • Promote, support, and cultivate team building activities. Empower its members to act within the framework of the team’s mission.

  • Encourage its members to participate in exploring options and decision making.

  • Use member commitment to achieve desired outcomes.

  • Create an environment where people trust each other and work together.

  • Afford members the opportunity to participate in meaningful activities.

  • Create an environment the members can enjoy.

Initially, a team may be a group of strangers. The leader’s responsibility is to unite them, so they become a team that shares a common goal. Establishing a team takes time, and the members frequently go through identifiable stages of growth.  The stages of Forming, Storming, Norming, Performing, and Adjourning are featured in Bruce Tuckman's model. Recognizing each of these stages can help a leader develop a more effective team.

Let’s look at these five stages.

Forming - people first come together to accomplish a shared purpose. Their initial success will depend on their familiarity with each other's work style, their experience on prior teams, and the clarity of their assigned mission.

Storming - assign roles and help draw out and resolve disagreement about vision, mission, and ways to approach assignments.

Norming - team develops a working relationship and focus turns toward the task and what needs to be done.

Performing - team reaches an optimal level of performance. The real work of the team progresses with solid personal relationships and proven team processes.

Adjourning - team break-ups when the mission or purpose is completed. Time to move on.

Teams may or may not move through these stages sequentially.  When a new member is added to the team, the team may revert to an earlier stage. The time it takes to move from stage to stage depends on the member’s collective knowledge, experience, and skill.  These stages may apply to temporary or ongoing teams.

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