A few years ago, I used Professor Goodman’s methodology and starting asking my students to develop a team contract at the outset. The teamwork has improved considerably.
Here is another anecdote from a student: “There was something about having the structure of the charter in the very beginning. We took the time to sit down together in my living room and seriously thought about what we individually wanted to get and give in the class, but more importantly, what we as a team wanted to achieve. Getting down on paper what we’d need to do to be successful solidified our sense of camaraderie and got us excited for the endless possibilities the future held.”
I recommend you develop a team contract too. RIGHT NOW!
Here is how to do it:
To Do as Individuals
- Think about a team that you were on that was highly successful. Write down three factors that you think made that happen.
- Think about a team that you were on, that was a failure and a miserable experience for you. Write down three factors that you think made that happen.
- What lessons did you learn from the above?
To Do as a Team
- Discuss lessons learned above.
- What things are important to the team members and the project?
- Develop a team Charter with the following components:
- Lay out some things you will do and will not do.
- What behaviors are desirable and what are not?
- How will you treat each other?
- How will you listen to each other?
- We suggest no more than five guiding behaviors.
Revisit the charter every month to discuss how your team is doing. Revise as necessary.
Let me know if this helped you!
Verinder Syal, Author: Discover The Entrepreneur Within