Team Charters – helping keep your team on track
How do I keep my team on track?
A Team Charter is a solution to workplace conflict and team effectiveness issues that I have seen work well for many leaders, human resource professionals, and teams.
A Team Charter is a document that clearly defines the purpose of the team, how the team will work together, how the team will resolve conflict and deal with difficult conversations, and what are the expected outcomes.
Think of a Team Charter like a “roadmap” for the team and leadership. They help communicate the purpose of the team and provide a clear direction for the team.
Team Charters are most effective when created specifically for the team, and developed by the team. Cookie cutter approaches or generic charters tend to set the team up for unnecessary challenges. A customized charter that the team has developed together has a strong foundation for success, because the team has created it together.
The process of creating the charter is a team building exercise and when effectively facilitated, can strengthen relationships and commitment to the charter, and the agreements the team has made together. It is not uncommon to have “real issues” surface during the process of developing the team charter. This is one reason that careful planning and effective facilitation is essential. For example, if the team explores agreements to maintain open and respectful communication and issue resolution as part of the team charter/how the team works together and when an issue surfaces as an example and is sidetracked or minimized, the value of the charter is quickly diminished.
The process of developing team charters is clearly an opportunity to walk the talk.