Element 3 – Contribute to Team Development
The stages in team development are forming, storming, norming and performing.
In the forming stage, team members are getting to know one another and getting comfortable with one another. Members will naturally 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. Help team members get to know one another. Make sure the purpose and task are clearly defined, and share management expectations of the group. Give the team time to get comfortable with one another, but move the team along as well.
Once the team works together for a while, they will leave the forming stage and enter storming. Politeness begins to wear off and dissension occurs over basic mission and operating procedures. Control often becomes the primary issue. Who is going to decide what? Disagreements can be either very obvious or subtle.
Storming is the most difficult stage for a team to weather, but it is necessary for healthy team development. When team members begin to trust one another enough to air differences, this signals readiness to work things out. Don’t ignore the storming stage. Acknowledge it with the team as a natural developmental step. Facilitators should surface the conflicts and address them. This is a good time to review ground rules, revisit the purpose and related administrative matters of the team.
When teams recognise their differences and have dealt with them, they move to norming, the stage when they ask, “how are we going to accomplish our work?” Beyond the politeness and nervousness of forming, and past the issues and concerns of storming, teams will want to review how they are functioning. As team members learn to work out their differences and emotional conflicts are reduced, they will have more time and energy to focus on their purpose. At this stage, the team has PROCESS down fairly well.
Performing is the final stage of team development. Performing teams are just that, a highly effective, problem solving unit that can reach solutions quickly and can even head off issues before they become problems. Teams at the performing level are generally self-regulating.
Teams do not develop as neatly and sequentially as these stages imply. Teams can cycle from one stage to another relatively easily or get stuck in one stage. Some people may have the unpleasant experience of being on a team that is disbanded because the team never progressed past the storming stage.
To contribute to team development is a very important part of keeping an effective team together. All members of the team should encourage and support each other, and identify and help organise professional development opportunities. These opportunities may include the following:
- Career planning or development
- Internal or external training provision
- Participating in formal or informal learning programs
- Performance appraisals
- Personal study
- Quality assurance assessments and recommendations
- Recognition of Prior Learning assessment
- Work experience or exchange opportunities
- Workplace coaching, mentoring or supervision
- Workplace skills assessment
The reality is, you can never know too much, so for each security officer to do professional development at least once a year; you will be positioning yourself for your future. People that have furthered their education have also furthered their career in the security industry.
A part of your contribution to team development can be in the form of feedback on individual and team performance, and in most cases it will be sought from supervisors and colleagues. The types of feedback could be comments from supervisors, colleagues or clients; it can also be formal or informal performance appraisals, personal refection or workplace assessment.
Any positive contribution for the team should be made in the planning process, to improve the team’s work practices.