Reduce Team Conflict
One of my favorite tools that I use when I teach college students or train Project Management, Business Analysis, or Leadership for organizations is the Team Contract.
The team contract is a document outlining agreements about how the team will work together. Team contracts contain topics such as "Commitments", "Participation", "Communication", "Problem-Solving", "Decision-Making", "Conflict Management", "Use of Technology", and "Meeting Guidelines".
Looking at the group dynamics of Forming, Norming, Storming, Performing, and Adjourning, the team contract speeds up the Norming phase and helps prevent/mitigate the Storming phase, so the team can get to the Performing phase faster--making your team more efficient.
The team meets and decides what agreements, ground rules, and behaviors they want to abide by with each other. Going through this process formally and quickly outlines the "norms" of acceptable behaviors.
When the norms are documented, it serves as a reminder and communication mechanism for how that team operates together. The bonus is that since the team creates the contract together, the team enforces it together.
Creating a team contract also serves as a team-building exercise and helps new members get up to speed more quickly. But remember that the contract belongs to the team. Each member needs to participate in its creation and sign off that they agreed to it or it will not be effective.
This simple yet highly effective tool will promote understanding among its members, and consequently can help your team performance improve dramatically.
If you're interested in a template for a team contract, contact us and we will send you one. It's just one of our 8th Anniversary gifts for you.