some initial rebellion or challenging. Squabbling
between members may occur. Expect this stage and
prepare to meet the challenge.
l Norming. During this stage, the group settles
down into a routine. The group establishes roles and
accepts behavioral limits.
l Performing. This stage is the goal of team
building. The group can now operate efficiently as a
team and we can take care of business.
l Mourning. After a team has been successful for
a time, a mourning stage may set in. This phenomena is
one to watch out for. Attitudes may start to decline.
Members may wish for the way it used to be and
become discontented. You need to recognize the onset
of the mourning stage and immediately implement
motivational techniques to bring your team back to the
Ingredients for a Successful Team
Successful team building does not just happen. The
supervisor must be responsible for bringing the right
ingredients together to attract the membership. The right
ingredients are listed in the following paragraphs.
CLEAR TEAM GOALS. All members of the team
must understand exactly what goals the team is striving
to meet. In recruiting, we have established goals from
the district. The team must also have its own goals.
These may include competition, training qualifications,
advancements, attaining NRD goals so many months in
a row, or any other mutually agreed upon goal.
IMPROVEMENT PLAN. Every team needs a plan
for improvement. These may be formal plans of action
milestones (POA&Ms) or informal team
commitments; for example, our team will strive to
increase market identification by 4 percent each month.
Whatever format the plan takes, all members of the team
must understand their role in its accomplishment.
WELL-DEFINED ROLES. Every member of the
team should understand exactly what role they are filling
in the scheme of recruiting. In addition, they should
understand each others roles and how they interrelate.
Your role as supervisor must be especially well defined.
It is easy to let military protocol relax in the recruiting
environment. Be careful not to let your role diminish in
CLEAR COMMUNICATION. The most important
ingredient of all is clear communication. Keep all
channels open. Not only do you want to convey clear,
concise messages to your team, you also want to keep
the door open for communication and feedback. We will
discuss communication skills in more detail later in this
HELPFUL TEAM BEHAVIORS. Earlier we
discussed the teams conforming to accepted behaviors
in the norming stage. You may need to remind team
members of acceptable behaviors from time to time.
Some behavioral practices that will help your team run
smoothly include using courteous conversation practices,
seeking opinions and input, sharing responsibility,
compromising in resolving differences, employing
creativity and candidness, and accepting and delivering
praise and critiques. These behaviors may be most
noticeable in a meeting environment, but you should
monitor them in all team interactions.
WELL-DEFINED DECISION PROCEDURES.
Be up front about decisions. Let members know what
decisions they are supposed to make and what decisions
should be forwarded to you. Have an established method
of resolving differences. Let the team know in advance
what is negotiable and what is not.
BALANCED PARTICIPATION. You may find
difficult in the recruiting
environment when some recruiters will always write
more contracts than others. Participation is not limited
to production. Make sure all team members participate
in activities that will benefit the whole team. Encourage
all members to participate by providing training and
input at meetings and during discussions.
ESTABLISHED GROUND RULES. It is
extremely important when taking over a new station or
zone that you set up ground rules as soon as possible.
Let the team know what you expect in the way of
performance and behavior. Everyone should understand
the rules and the consequences.
AWARENESS OF THE GROUP PROCESS. All
members need to be aware of what is going on in the
team. Keep the communication flowing. Pass on
successful ideas and tactics. Let all team members know
about the new triumphs within the team. That first Gold
Wreath award, RQS qualification, or Station of the
Month award are all examples of recognition to share
with the team.