Time for teams to re-norm

It has been a number of weeks that we have all been working remotely. This has forced a change in the way that we work, connect with each other and function as teams. Despite the fact that governments and businesses are relaxing lock down or personal distancing rules, the reality is that many of us will be working this way for some time to come.

Below I share a two observations and simple tips to consider as we move into what is being terms our “new normal”!

Time for teams to Re-Norm

Team norms, simply put, are the rules we establish as a team to guide how we interact with each other. They guide our behaviour and importantly the expectations we have of each other. More often than not these expectations are implicit and heavily influenced by organisation culture.

Here are four simple reflection or retrospective questions you can explore as a team:But here is the thing, our context has changed and the cues we receive are not always visible. Thus, it is even more important to make the implicit explicit and re-establish your team norms. We also know that teams that take time to reflect on how they are doing ultimately perform better (Schippers, West, & Dawson, 2015).

  1. What am I liking about our current way of working?
  2. What have I learned about myself or our team during this period of working from home?
  3. What have I lacked during this time?
  4. What am I longing for as we continue to work this way?

As a team reflect on the answers and consider what changes you need to make in your team norms. A great way to make this a visual conversation is to use Mural or Miro.

Schippers, M. C., West, M. A., & Dawson, J. F. (2015). Team Reflexivity and Innovation : The Moderating Role of Team Context. Journal of Management, 41(3), 769–788.

Back to back video conference calls…

Many of my colleagues and clients are lamenting that they are in back to back video or remote conference calls. Whilst technology has certainly helped us during the Covid-19 pandemic, it has also placed many of us in an “always available” mode.

If you are I invite you to reflect on the following questions:

  • When am I doing my thinking, creative or strategic work? Is it ‘after hours’?
  • Am I having the same meetings or regular calls that I had prior to working from home? Are they still needed or do I need to change the format / frequency?
  • What can I do to take back control of my time and my diary? Yes, it is your time and diary!

Need to explore how to improve the effectiveness of your team during this period? Then please reach out. I’d be happy to have a catch up call. I’d also love to hear how you are making the most of the situation you are in.

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Talk soon,

Mark