building teams

The Pervasive Nature of Team Norms

The Pervasive Nature of Team Norms

Norms are unwritten rules that guide human behavior and can be observed whenever boarding elevators or navigating airport security lines. Most people  “know” what to do when boarding an elevator full of strangers: enter the elevator, go directly to the back, turn around and face the door, fixate on the floor number indicator, don’t make eye contact or engage in conversation, and quickly exit at the desired floor. Likewise, road warriors know the airport security line routine and get irritated when stuck behind inexperienced travelers. Norms are rarely written down but everyone is expected to abide them; those who don’t are seen as rubes.