Week 3 Discussion 2 Communication and Team Building

Discuss the importance of identifying norms within a team. Why is clear communication considered an essential element during team development? Provide an example when you were a team member and the lack of communication caused significant problems for the team. Respond to at least two of your peers for this posting.

SAMPLE RESPONSE FROM A FORMER STUDENT Discuss the importance of identifying norms within a team?

Author Donald Baack captures the importance of team norms, when he states, “Norms can provide vital organizational functions when they clarify the group organization’s key values and convey a sense of identity” (Baack, 2012).  When a team is established it is important to develop its own customs, habits, and expectation on how things will be done.  In my experience working in teams, I have found that when team rules and expectations were laid out from the start, the group was more effective and able to attain goals.

Why clear communication is considered an essential element during team development?

Communication is important in every organization but this is particularly true in team development since the norms of the group are being established.  Clear communication may help to negate counterproductive or negative situations from occurring which may prevent the team from achieving its goals.  Without clear communication a team may lack structure or the sense of direction necessary in order to have success.  In the book Credibility by James Kouzes and Barry Posner, the authors point out the importance of communication when they state, “Leaders understand that unless they communicate and share information with their constituents, few will take much interest in what is going on” (Kouzes & Posner, 2003, p. 172).  I believe what Kouzes and Posner say is not only about communication but also about building trust among team members.

Provide an example when you were a team member and the lack of communication caused significant problems for the team.

Several years ago I was part of a six person sales team that was highly dysfunctional.  Among the primary issues of the team was distrust among team members and with the sales manager.  Trust begins with management, and in my case the sales manager had a one clear team favorite and poorly communicated team goals and expectations.  With communication low and favoritism high, team members began picking sides and unattached to the group.  As animosity and anger grew there was no accountability and even the sales manager took up sides.

There are a number of reasons why this team was not effective including poor communication and lack of clarity on team goals.  Unfortunately, poor leadership led towards a lack of trust and an inability for the team to work together and move forward and achieve


Baack, D. (2012). Organizational behavior. San Diego, CA: Bridgepoint Education, Inc.

          Kouzes, J.M. & Posner, B.Z. (2003). Credibility, How Leaders Gain and Lose It, Why People Demand It. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

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