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Working in diverse teams
Working in diverse teams

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6 Norming

When and if you do reach this stage you may breathe a collective sigh of relief!

A black and white photo of a woman slouched in an armchair looking exhausted.
Figure 6 Huge sigh of relief

At this stage, the group has now transformed from a collection of individual members to a cohesive team. A team identity has established itself and disagreement among members is largely settled. This stage is charaterised by:

  • more openness with each other and the ability to express real ideas and feelings
  • start to get down to working on the task
  • team members cease challenging each other
  • the task is redefined
  • members recognise the variety of opinions and experiences in the team
  • constructive criticism is possible and welcomed
  • members start to enjoy being part of the team and develop their own language, names and inside jokes.

Activity 5 Can you tell when you are Norming?

Timing: Allow about 5 minutes

It is worth remembering that this is not the final stage in the formation of the team, there are aspects that need to take place in order to reach the next stage, i.e. Performing. Consider what you could do at this stage of team formation to help the group move forward. Think about what you need to accomplish in this stage before you are able to move onto the next stage. Note down your answers.

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Answer

Things that can be helpful at this time include:

  1. re-evaluating the team processes, such as how often you will check in. This is especially important in a virtual team
  2. establishing when individuals will contribute to the team and how to contact each other
  3. check if everyone is clear on the team tasks and on the team rules and shared language.