Benefits of Storming

Whenever I think of the team development phase called “storming,” it makes me feel excited. Storming is that phase after the honeymoon period, where we start to feel comfortable with our surroundings and we allow our bad habits to eek out.

When a team comes together (forming), they are filled with hope and anticipation. Then, they start to get into a groove, which begins to reveal their true nature.

Some people always play the devils advocate. Others like to remain silent, because they feel if they don’t share their ideas and opinions, they will be safe from ridicule. In addition, behaviors, such as always showing up late, not getting the work done, and avoiding taking responsibility for their actions, also rear their ugly heads.

These and other behaviors spark storming. Storming is all about making it through the tough stuff so you can find a comfortable norm and really start to perform. Storming feels uncomfortable because the way team members (could be at work or home) are interacting is out of alignment.

How do you achieve alignment? Through conversation. Open, candid communication leads to shared understanding, more harmonious conditions, and improved outcomes. If the thought of open, candid communication just gave you the willies, just breathe. We will cover that topic in another post.

Although working agreements aren’t technically an artifact for any methodology, they sure do help team members understand the expectations of each other. These agreements are simply a checklist for how the team will interact.

In our home, when the pandemic hit and our family members were all forced to work and go to school from home, we created a list of agreements we would use as our guiding light. One of these agreements was to hold each other accountable to live by these agreements or have a conversation about why the agreement needed to change.

So, if you find yourself in a team that is storming and can’t find their groove, suggest creating working agreements. Keep them simple. Review them often, until they become the new norm. Working agreements (aka: team norms) provide the support a team needs to improve, grow, and really start making things happen.

Enjoy the improved communication and collaboration. Celebrate your wins!

All my best,

Paulie Skaja
your mindset muse ?

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