i.e. Forming 2
No matter how old
you are, when you go
out in the world, it is
best to hold hands
and stick together.
Listen to Understand.
Treat each other with respect and dignity
Don’t be defensive
It’s okay to not know the right answer. And admit it. Find the answer
Practice and experience humility – not everyone will always have all the
If you commit to doing it – do it. Be accountable and responsible
Be genuine with each other in feelings, ideas, and challenges
Trust each other. Have confidence that we are all on the same side
During the forming phase of the team, the team
members must learn about each other and
about how to work most successfully together.
Some Steps in creating a team that is on the
same pages include:
Agree on what you
are trying to achieve
as a team.
Learn each team
members personal goals
and what they want to get
Discuss habits (good and bad), personal
preferences and attitudes or sensitivities. Have
a discussion of personal circumstances that
can impact the team’s plans (such as
pregnancy due dates, civic duties, etc.) as
priority and allow room for these situations to fit
into the schedule
What am I agreeing
Why do we need a
Once the team has agreed upon the expected norms
and signed their team agreement/contract, a natural
progression to the following phases of team
development should occur. Ideas will flow and
acceptance of these ideas can become a source of
conflict, as can perceived commitment and
participation. A successful team will create their
contract/agreement with these unavoidable pitfalls in
mind and because the team established their team
expectations together, they will be ready to deal with any
conflict that does arise.
A team contract is a powerful step in turning a group of
people into a team. Like the rules your Kindergarten teacher
laid out on the first day of class, a team contract or
agreement covers territory such as how members will work
together, make decisions, communicate, share information,
and support each other. Basically, a team
contract/agreement clearly outlines the expected norms for
how members will and should interact with one another.
For these agreements to work, the team also needs to establish in
this beginning stages of forming the team how members will handle
violations and how they will hold each other accountable for the
social contract. Violations of formal or even informal team contracts
can lead to dissatisfaction and lower trust of the teammates. Teams
need to create procedures for providing honest productive feedback,
addressing differences, and knowing when to bring in the experts to
help to get the team on track. Ultimately, the leader and all of the
members must care about each other and the success of the team
for the team contract to have any power in helping a team move
down a winning path.
The purpose of this team working agreement
is to outline uniform expectations for the
Team Handbook project concerning, but not
limited to, the working relations and group
structure among team members in K3MT.
The contents herein addressed are:
Communication, Decision Making,
The members of the team are:
Kelly Byrne, Kate Johnston, Kat Lavala,
Malory Morgan, Taylor Vandermark
Communication between team members will be through e-
mail, discussion board, text message, and weekly team
meetings. Members will check their e-mail/discussion
board once daily and reply when requested or necessary.
Team meetings are scheduled every Tuesday evening at
7:00pm. If a member cannot attend a team meeting, they
must communicate to all members 24 hours prior to the
meeting. Failure to communicate their absence will result in
a strike (see “Consequences” section).
All ideas and directions will be kept open until a final
consensus decision is made by the group. If a
consensus cannot be made a vote will be taken and
majority rules. Failure to communicate or acting on a
decision not sanctioned by the entire team, will result
in one strike. (Please refer to “Consequences”
Members of the team are expected to complete any
and all tasks assigned to them by the due date. If
unforeseen obstacles prevent task completion, this
will be handled accordingly. Difficult or unclear
responsibilities must be voiced to other team
members speedily so that they can be clarified or
redefined. Roles will be strictly informal with a
democratic debate system used for decision-making.
Consequences will be based on a strike program with three strikes
resulting in a probationary status and four strikes resulting in
removal from the team. After the 2 strike the professor will be
Strikes may be given for any one of the following reasons:
• Missed meetings without either communication 24 hours prior or
a legitimate conflict,
• Failure to abide by the rules presented in this working agreement,
• Low commitment and substandard work presented in assigned
i.e. Storming 26
Team work creates increased productivity
that allows for increased collaboration! This
means when you are creating a powerful
team there needs to be a balance between
the benefits and the challenges and that
can only be done through communication!
Every team task should relate back to
the team’s goals, objectives, and
mission. When disagreements do pop
up, the WHY will bring the clarity to the
chaos. The WHY gives the team a focus
and provides a place for the team’s
Make agendas a team tradition!
This is a virtual team best practice, because let’s be
real: people forget. There are various apps (such as
Trello or Notion) and project management systems
that can be a virtual team’s best-friend, but it can be
something as simple as this template. TEAM TIP: try
to shoot for 24-hour notice regarding the agenda.
This give the team time to contribute and set the
tone for the meeting.
Make it FUN!
Stimulate the realness! Your team, virtual or not,
consists of real people and even though you are not
in the same room, a meeting can still be fun and
engaging! It can be as simple as sharing stories
before the meeting or can be something like a virtual
happy hour. Try to remember your team is more than
heads on a screen. Bring back that humanity!
Be Wise with technology!
Too much of a good thing can hurt
productivity. Decide which platforms
work best for your team and fits the
needs of effective communication. Stay
Centralize Communication and Over Communicate
A strong virtual team needs a place where everyone
can be in the know about anything and everything
that could affect the team. Transparent
communication will be the foundation of a virtual
team’s communication culture. Have a dedicated
place for team info like a Google Drive or an app like
Keep Feedback Intentional!
High-performing virtual team requires a culture of feedback
and a powerful virtual team knows how to give that
feedback in a constructive way, so they can feel
comfortable saying what is working and what isn’t. A virtual
team can be just as good as an in-person team when they
can put all the cards on the virtual table without fear,
rejection, or hurt feelings. Having a set practice can assist
Example of a sample feedback process:
Person giving feedback writes up a description of the issue,
observations, and the impact that the person’s behavior is having on
the team in a Google Doc
Person emails the team member or manager to discuss the
Person shares the Google Doc
Meeting is scheduled to discuss the Google Doc
Everyone stays at the meeting till a resolution of some kind results.
Be Considerate and Keep it Friendly
Last but not least, remember to stay friendly!
Your team consists of people. People who have
lives and stuff will happen. So get clear on how
to react as a team when these things surface,
because they will and set guidelines can curb
the potential resentment.
“Isn’t it nice to
think that tomorrow
is a new day with
no mistakes in it
yet?” – L.M.
• Little face-to-face interactions affects team cohesion and trust
• Have one-on-one interactions
• Successful teams are made of team members who are
purposeful in their interactions. One on one interaction is
important with every individual on the team to make sure
employee engagement doesn’t fall short. During these
interactions, set your expectations and needs. When having
one-on-one interactions, make sure you know when to listen to
what your fellow teammates have to say.
• Managing multiple time zones
• Team priorities and goals can get lost
in virtual settings
• Managing expectations and goals
• Virtual Communication can be difficult when technology problems occur
• Misunderstandings can occur from cultural and/or language issues
• Staying in contact between meetings
• Encourage two-way feedback
• To have a smooth team environment, it is important to have two-way
communication. In the workplace, feedback is important to generate
results, where the main objectives are to strengthen progress towards
team goals. A common mistake made when offering feedback is turning it
into a one-way dialogue (feedback) They give no opportunity to team
members to present their own comments and concerns. Encouraging two-
way feedback is a sign of good communication in the workplace that will
give your team a chance to self-evaluate
• Promote Communication and Collaboration
• Team members will be able to communicate better if they are able to
collaborate with everyone well. Encouraging collaboration will promote
diverse skills to make sure everyone is aware of ongoing projects.
• Staying up to date with what each person is doing
• Keeping everything fun and engaging
• Show care and respect for team members
• Show appreciate
• Showing appreciation is an effective way to deal
with low team morale and to make your team
members feel like they matter. This promotes
communication in a team.
Conduct team building activities
Team building activities have a great impact on productivity
and overall teamwork of your team. It can help your people
to communicate better, and also help them to build good
relationships with one another. Create structure
opportunities for your team to collaborate through activities
like team lunch, ice breaker games in meetings, group
meetings, fitness sessions, puzzle solving games or any
Conflict isn’t Always BAD…
Leaders often have a vision but are usually able to
communicate this through day to day activities. It is not that
easy with a learning team, there are not physical
communication in a single face to face meeting in which
meanings are less likely to be missed. Technology meanings are
missed, and conflict can be easy to occur. The types of that are
now used include: email, texting, instant messaging, social
networking, tweeting, blogging, and video conferencing. Thus,
they use several modes of communication including project
management software, social media or email.
Communication technology can significantly
influence the performance of a task and ensure
prompt and reliable communication among team
members. Email has increasingly become a standard
mode of official communication for most
organizations. Though even with emails meanings
can be misunderstood, because of voice tones or
body language cannot be taken into consideration.
Diversity produces conflict. No one member of the team is exactly like the
other, nor do they have the same schedule. When individuals come together in
teams, their differences in terms of power, values, attitudes, and social factors
all contribute to the creation of conflict. Barriers to communication are among
the most important factors and can be a major source of misunderstanding.
Communication barriers include poor listening skills; insufficient sharing of
information; differences in interpretation and perception; and nonverbal cues
being ignored or missed. Personal factors include things such as an
individual’s self-esteem, their personal goals, values and needs. For conflict to
be dealt with successfully, team members must understand its unpredictability
and its impact on individuals and the team.
Diversity produces conflict. No one member of the team is exactly
like the other, nor do they have the same schedule. When
individuals come together in teams, their differences in terms of
power, values, attitudes, and social factors all contribute to the
creation of conflict. Barriers to communication are among the most
important factors and can be a major source of misunderstanding.
Communication barriers include poor listening skills; insufficient
sharing of information; differences in interpretation and perception;
and nonverbal cues being ignored or missed. Personal factors
include things such as an individual’s self-esteem, their personal
goals, values and needs. For conflict to be dealt with successfully,
team members must understand its unpredictability and its impact
on individuals and the team.
Poor communication – Communication affects teamwork
in positive and negative ways. The quantity and quality of
communication within a team and from leadership
affects teamwork. Every member of the team needs to
take the initiative to communicate. When a team is not
actively communicating, their work is at stake. It’s
important for everyone to learn how to communicate
effectively to work effectively.