Timeframe: 1 hour (you’ll spend much more than an hour in side conversations trying to keep the peace if you don’t sit down as a group right at the start)
Number of people: Ideally the whole team
Facilitator: Anyone in the team, usually the team lead
(CoachBot is ideal since it has an interactive digital session designed to coach the team while having exactly this conversation. If you don’t have access to CoachBot, you can use Miro or Trello with this facilitation guide.)
Ask everyone to consider this question:
Within our team's new working environment, what are the worst ways we could behave?
Answers could range from serious things that compromise the work of the team (e.g. we stop asking for help when we need it or we miss deadlines) through to smaller things (e.g. missing people's birthdays or losing out on the casual chats that we enjoy in the office.)
Give the team 5 minutes to come up with as many answers as they like. Then, when the time is up, ask people to share their answers.
Take it in turns to discuss your answers - why are they important to you and what would the impact be? Try to keep to approximately 3 minutes per person.
Start grouping people’s answers together in terms of themes and similarities. The screenshot shows how you do that in CoachBot. If you’re using Trello, group similar cards into columns. If you’re using Miro, drag similar ‘post-it’ notes together.
Once they've been grouped, summarise each theme into a single statement. You should now have a collection of the worst ways a team can behave.
Turn each of the groups of negative statements into a positive commitment. For example if one of the themes is ‘Blame others for problems’ that might become ‘We seek to understand the full story before pointing the finger.’
Make sure your behaviours are tangible and targeted to your team. Use language that you would use as a team everyday. For example;
Instead of We’re open and honest ➡️ We say what we think
Instead of We believe in accountability ➡️ We do as we say and we call each other out
Your behaviours will read more like a set of commitments in your own words and less like the manifesto of a sect.
It’s also important to remember, behaviours that aren’t specific enough are a lot harder to put into practice.
You should now have a list of positive behaviours that will help you work well together. These are your team rules and it's important to let people know about them. Breaking one of these behaviours is not just bad form, it's one of the very worst behaviours for this team.
Decide how you remind yourselves of them. Here are some ideas:
See a CoachBot Behaviours session in action here.