Team norms are basically relationship guidelines that develop gradually. Team members develop particular ways of interacting with each other over time until those habits become behavioral expectations. A team can have high performance norms or low performance norms… in addition to norms around things other than performance… such as communication, decision-making, or dealing with conflict. Here are several examples of some common team norms:
- How are decisions made?
- Do we need to reach consensus?
- Who has the final say?
- Is open debate acceptable?
- Do we go with our gut or rely on data?
- What is the structure of team meetings?
- When is it acceptable to miss a meeting?
- How do we encourage participation?
- When, how often, and for how long do we meet?
- Who keeps minutes?
- Who leads the meeting?
- What is the definition of quality work?
- Do we strive for excellence or mediocrity?
- How strictly do we adhere to deadlines?
- Is creativity encouraged?
- Who leads the completion of the project?
- What are the roles and boundaries?
- Do we help each other out? To what extent?
- How are rules enforced?
- How do we deal with mistakes?
- What sparks conflict?
- How is conflict resolved?
- Do we focus on the task or the people?
- What happens during a crisis?
- How much internal competition exists?
- Do politics guide behavior?
- Do we really listen? Do people feel heard?
- Is there respect?
- How does communication flow?
- Is diversity respected?
- Does open dialogue occur?
- Is it a feedback-rich environment?
- How well do we know each other?
- Who has power and how is it attained?