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Steps in effective agile team building – Part 2

Blog: Capgemini CTO Blog


In this early stage of a team, the most important aspect is trust building. Without trust, there will be no flow. People need to get to know each other. Organize ways in which people get familiar with each other on a deeper level, in a safe way. Learn about each other’s hobbies, interest, private lives (as much as they want to tell at this point), personal goals, strengths and weaknesses. This is an ongoing process that progresses in small steps.

This stage is all about building a team culture and creating psychological safety.

According to William Schutz, who developed the FIRO (Fundamental Interpersonal Relations Orientation) in 1958, this stage is also called “inclusion.” People have a desire to connect and associate with other people and they might ask themselves: “How do I fit into this team?”

To help answer this question:


In this stage there will be plenty of discussion, and that is perfectly fine. Have work meetings and discuss work-related items, such as the way forward, and practical agreements. Learn about each other’s diverse viewpoints. Explain that conflicts are fine. Learn to deal with them; learn to respect each other’s strengths, weaknesses, and viewpoints. Enable good decision making. Learn to give and take. Again, make sure these sessions are professionally facilitated.

Schutz calls this stage “control.” Team members may test how much control the leader has, and how much the group has. They may test boundaries to find out what is or is not permissible in the group. Some irritation may appear, and the team members should have a healthy discussion about this.

Image by David Mark from Pixabay

The leader needs to repeat the vision, objectives, and key messages over and over again. Why are we doing this? What is most important to us? Visualize these messages and visualize successes. Compliment the teams a lot (but only if it is sincere) and teach the team members to compliment each other. Compliment them specially on positive, helpful behavior.

In my next post, I will focus on the final three steps of team building: norming, performing and adjourning. In the meanwhile, I’d love to hear your comments. Contact me at:

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