Norming, Storming, Conforming...Key pieces to reaching consensus
April 7, 2018
The other day I was listening to one of Jon Gordon's podcast from Positive University. In this podcast, Jon was interviewing a former Navy Seal, Nick Hays. You can follow him on twitter @NickHaysLife. Nick and Jon had a great conversation about what it takes to overcome challenges, what bonds a team together, and perform under pressure. There was so much great information shared that I wanted to post about it. Nick taught about a military model to consider when faced with new people, new committees, new organization. He called it norming, storming, and conforming.
The first step is NORMING. When gathering for a first time, it's important to acknowledge what every person brings to the meeting. Each member will bring his/her own thoughts, beliefs (norms). I agree with Nick's suggestion that we are to respect and recognize each person's norms. We should give them a chance to "weigh in" if we want them to "buy in." Yes...Put all norms on the table. The next step is to begin the refining process of what we want this committee, organization, or in my profession, this school campus, to look like and sound like. Before moving to the next step, it is important to remember that these norms are not "my" norms, but they are "our" norms.
Once we have our norms, the next step is to begin the "brain"-STORMING process. Now, we are ready to use all the talents in the room to create a masterpiece. In this step, we want our strengths, the successful traits and attributes, to speak and drive the vehicle. An example of this would be, a mission statement or a "Great Work" proposal. This step is the "how are we going to get there?"
The last step in CONFORMING. Now, we are ready to take our identity, our "this is what we believe!" and begin walking the talk. We have heard successful organizations talk about team chemistry. We reach chemistry or "flow" when our expectations our put into consistent behavior practices. If these practices are implemented with fidelity, they will become habits.
The next time, you are presented with a "new" opportunity to work with "new" people in a "new" setting, I hope that you will give Nick's suggestion a try.