Warning!!! There will be “storming”!

In some of our recent posts, we’ve been discussing the theme of getting “authentic” feedback from your teams. As we’ve discussed, our approach creates a new level of transparency in your organization. However, we do want to offer a word of caution upfront. There will be “storming”!

A terminology that was being used over a decade ago in the area of team building is “forming, storming, norming, and performing”. While the terms differ, this process is pretty typical for the evolution of great high performance teams. The team must “form” (or refocus), they go through a period of “storming”, then they start “norming” to a point of “performing”. My purpose today is not to outline what each of these stages look like, however, to emphasize there will be “storming” multiple times within a team’s development.

Specifically, at the point you start to seek “authentic” feedback from team members, you need to be prepared for a bit of “storming”. The number one thing your team members want to know is that their contribution is valued. We don’t have to necessarily implement every idea they offer, however, we do have to listen to their input. Unfortunately, listening to their input inevitably comes with a bit of “pain”. You and others on the team are going to discover things about yourself and member’s perception of each other that can get a little messy. Candidly, it’s because the process is messy that most teams steer clear of initiating this feedback process in the beginning. What these leaders are missing is that it’s a natural process of team evolution and you won’t progress toward high performance unless you go through this “storming” phase multiple times and embrace the storms.

Now, if your caught in the middle of a storm, is it easier for you to find your way out of the storm or someone external to the storm to guide you? Imagine an airplane pilot flying in the middle of a storm, what does he do? He seeks input from the air traffic controller and radar to find a path out of the storm. So, he has an external guide with knowledge of the storm.

Well, this is true with you and your team as well. Normally, in order for you to progress from “storming” to “norming” your going to need an external guide. Preferably a guide with tremendous experience in navigating storms. One that doesn’t necessarily know how to fly your plane, however, can coach you through the storm as they’ve dedicated their lives to doing so. Well, I’m one of those types of guides or you may call me a “storm chaser”.

Yes, we all have different gifts. One of my gifts is being able to intentionally create a mess and clean it up to a point where the end destination is far beyond where we started. For me, it’s a blast (no pun intended); however, for you, there is going to be a bit of pain along the way. Don’t worry, it’s worth it!!!!

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