During my many years working as a project and departmental manager, I saw a number of teams in action: some of these were cohesive, high-performing teams. Others, however, were a different story.

Bruce Tuckman’s model talks about the four stages of team development: Forming, Storming, Norming and Performing. Unfortunately, some teams never get further than the Storming phase. Just like children in a playgroup, there is a lot of screaming, no one is sharing, and a couple of kids are crying in the corner.

Here are my 6 tips for creating a top-performing team, or transforming a dysfunctional one:

  1. Have clearly defined roles and responsibilities. Write these down, give everyone a copy and review the roles together. People can still be encouraged to contribute outside of their own remit, but this way there is clarity about who should be doing what.
  2. Have clearly defined objectives that all team members know and understand; clarify how individual objectives contribute to the achievement of the team objectives.
  3. Don’t let team issues fester. If someone is becoming disruptive, or if there is conflict between individuals, deal with it as soon as possible, in private.
  4. Communicate, communicate, communicate! Share knowledge; seek regular feedback about how the team feels about working together and about how you are doing as their manager.
  5. Schedule team-building events. Creating time for people to socialize together helps build relationships within the team—it lets people show their human side.
  6. Say thank you when people have done a good job, and mean it.

Linda Hayman

I am an ICF Professional Certified Coach, NLP Master Practitioner and Certified Hypnotherapist. I offer coaching face-to-face and by phone, or Skype.