Growing Your Team
Just like humans go through stages of development, teams go through phases of growth. Effective dental leaders know how to move their employees through these stages with a minimum of fuss and stress.
Stages of Team Development
FORMING is the “getting-to-know-you” stage. Individuals come together for the first time. Team members are usually on their best behavior but very focused on self. Individuals try to understand their own roles, the roles of the other team members and their purpose in the group. This is entirely natural and to be expected. People are unsure, suspicious and nervous.
Leadership Goal: Clearly define expectations.
STORMING occurs when the members within the team start to “jockey” for position. Control struggles take place. Members of the team realize that they have different ideas and they compete for power. In some cases, storming can be resolved quickly. In others, the team never leaves this stage.
Leadership Goal: Be supportive and direct in guiding decisions and behavior.
Disagreements can be either very obvious or subtle. Control often becomes the primary issue although team members may focus on minutiae as an evasive tactic. The team needs direction at this stage and perhaps people need to hear things that they don’t want to hear. Get things out in the open. As the leader, demonstrate tolerance for everyone. Actively listen to team members and manage the conflict. Encourage ideas and explain decisions. Help the team recover from destructive conflict. Formal agreement on the practice vision, values and code of conduct enables teams to heal. With a common system of beliefs, behaviors and processes, your team can rise above conflict and establish more constructive actions.
NORMING happens when the team adheres to the rules it agreed to follow. Team members adjust their behavior to each other as they develop work habits that make teamwork seem more natural and fluid.
Leadership Goal: Act as a team member and help develop agreement and buy-in.
PERFORMING is the stage in which the team starts to produce through effective and efficient working practices. A performing team is just that: a highly effective, problem-solving unit that can reach solutions quickly and can even head off issues before they become problems.
Leadership Goal: Facilitate communication of the team’s success and reward success accordingly.
Dr. Haller helps teams move smoothly through the forming-storming-norming-performing phases of development. Dr. Haller is available for team building and dental leadership coaching. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.Interested in having Dr. Haller speak to your dental society or study club? Click here.
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