Five Stage Model Of Group Development

In the ’90s, I worked for a tech startup that was scaling quickly. New employees were hired in droves, and we went through six-week boot camps together, learning the ins and outs of the business together. All teams go through four predictable and evolving formation periods.

When your team members feel comfortable with each other, it’s easier to collaborate and work together. Alternatively, if your team is having challenges meshing, it may take them longer to 4 stages of group development get work done. Performing is the stage we all want to live and work in, but understanding, acknowledging and appreciating the importance of all the stages is the key to getting there.

It lays out some pretty straightforward reasons why some teams get to their productivity peak, and some don’t. The four stages take teams on the journey to high performance, but team development is not a linear process. A strong team leader is the backbone of every high-performing team. Without strong leadership, teams may struggle reaching the performing stage.

Establishing group collaboration early on can help reduce the impact of—or even prevent—this stage of group development. In fact, disagreement is critical to effective team collaboration. So when conflicts do arise, it’s important to resolve them as they come instead of avoiding them.

New team members are made aware of the formal “rulebook”, but they also pick up cues from others around them, particularly people of authority. Therefore, it is important to understand that the way team leaders and other supervisors interact with others sets the tone for all interactions. As the team leader, delegate responsibilities and assign roles based on each team member’s strengths. Some people are natural leaders, while others may take a backseat on leadership but have strong ideas when it comes to strategy and planning.

In2010 Tuckman reviewed current models and reconfirmed his model. It’s also worth noting that teams can revert to the storming stage when major conflicts or shifts to the status quo occur, like exiting employees or larger company directional changes. Some teams will toggle back and forth between the storming and norming stages. This may happen if work priorities shift and team members are temporarily thrown off-kilter. Given time, the storming will dissipate, and team members will come to appreciate how individual performance and group performance overlap. Team members are encouraged to show appreciation for the work of their colleagues and provide their views on what could have been done better.

Ideally, team members will be able to resolve conflicts within the team. However, if conflicts persist or escalate beyond the boundaries of a team, threatening to jeopardize operations, organizations need to have clear mechanisms for conflict resolution. Authority figures within an organization need to be aware of unresolved conflicts and available to step in if the situation requires it. The process of conflict resolution needs to be fair, transparent, and impartial towards all involved parties, but it also needs to be efficient and decisive if a win-win situation cannot be achieved. For smaller, cross-functional teams, use your main project objective for your team’s mission statement. For example, a cross-functional team between web development and marketing may have a project goal of decreasing page load time to 1.5 seconds.

The coach will continue to monitor the progress of the team and celebrate achievements with the team to continue to build team chemistry and unity. Even at this stage, there is a possibility that the team may go back to another earlier stage. But first, you should have clarity of your own identity and knowledge.

Even the highest-performing teams can slip from their standards. Without challenges and incentives, team members can become content and lose their drive and motivation. Organizations need to monitor performance and provide adequate fuel for continued dedication. The team gathers for a group meeting intended to address disagreements related to certain aspects of work. The moderator starts by setting the ground rules for discussion .

4 stages of group development

The biggest danger for a Stage 4 team lies in resting on its laurels and getting bored or sloppy. To maintain high performance, the team needs access to necessary resources, recognition of team success, and opportunities for new challenges. At this point, the team has learned to work together, appreciating and utilizing the talents of each team member, and flexibly adapting to circumstances to achieve its goals. One of the biggest dangers for the team during this stage is getting into group think, where the desire for harmony causes people to withhold opinions that are different from the majority. The term group think was coined by Irving Janis where he looked at the Bay of Pigs fiasco and how the pressures for consensus in the Kennedy administration caused experts to withhold their judgment.

My Leadership Philosophy Paper: Me As A Leader

Through the storming stage, managers need to strongly encourage team members to speak openly without fear of judgment or repercussions. The forming stage of team development is a period of orientation. A team is formed and its members become acquainted with one another, their working environment, roles, and expectations. In this stage, team members are greatly dependent on leadership, as they look for guidance, test out boundaries, and aim to understand expected manners of behavior. The stage is marked by setting ground rules, defining early goals, and understanding the team’s overall purpose.

A team that works together to resolve issues will trust each other more. They can rely on each other to do the hard work they were hired to do, despite any differences that arise. The five stages of group development, according to Bruce Tuckman’s model, are forming, storming, norming, performing, and adjourning. Psychologist Bruce Tuckman was the first to document the different phases that teams go through as they develop. In this article, we discuss the different stages of group development and how you can guide your team through them to optimize collaboration. As a team leader, it’s your goal to support and empower your team to help get their highest-impact work done.

What Are The Stages Of Team Development?

For leaders of collaborative teams, it is important to look for both strong organizational skills and strong people management skills. In addition to establishing your team’s mission or goal, it’s also important to set roles for individual team members. As you add people to the team, pay attention to what qualities and skills you’ll need to complete the project. As roles solidify, it’s important to make those responsibilities clear and distinct so that everyone knows who is doing what by when. If you haven’t already, consider creating a RACI chart to let each team member know who’s responsible, accountable, contributing, and informed for a specific initiative.

Even though there were 50 of us, crammed into a single classroom for 10 hours per day, six weeks straight, we really felt like a team. Team members in the forming phase often believe they trust their co-workers, and believe their co-workers trust them. Your role as a leader is different, but no less important through all four stages.

4 stages of group development

The understanding of procedures infuses teamwork with structure while defining boundaries and models of desirable behavior lays the foundation for future interpersonal relations. It is important to note that each of the stages requires different nourishment for teamwork and collaboration. We will focus on two areas of impact for each stage — the organizational framework needed for fostering collaboration and the best practices that can contribute to it.

Help Your Team Reach Their Goals With Strong Leadership

Communicating these shared values with new team members is important, but they also need to be reflected in the actions of leaders and influential figures. The team leader watches as the team collectively accepts their various milestones in the project. A form of team identity is formed among the members of the group. The team leader is seen as a mode of communication when decisions need to be made at a higher level.

4 stages of group development

Furthermore, HR staff can provide guidance and training in communication skills and conflict management. Openness is the foundation of trust, one of the key elements of team collaboration. Building trust begins by communicating openly and honestly about all aspects of the shared work. This works both ways — being honest and encouraging honesty from others. Transparency should extend not only to the manner of communication but also the means of communicating.

Cooperation And Integration Norming Stage

It is easy to get lost in petty squabbles, and all team members can benefit from placing things into a broader perspective. The first step in creating a unifying purpose is clearly communicating team goals and objectives. This includes long-term goals, but also short-term goals as measurable stages along the way.

  • The team itself grows more cohesive, inching closer towards full collaborative performance.
  • They start to focus on the details of completing any deliverables, finalizing documentation, and meeting reporting requirements.
  • The goal of Tuckman’s Stages model was to help project leaders understand how their team members were building relationships together.
  • In reality, what you have with a co-worker at this stage is respect, not trust.
  • To this purpose, team leaders need to celebrate and champion the values, principles, and actions that have helped them reach their collaborative best.
  • They need clarify goals, roles, how they will make decisions, share information, approach the work, and other issues needed to charter their team described in Set Up Your Team for Success.

As new elements are added or subtracted, the dynamic is altered. As your newly formed team starts its journey together, it’s helpful to have some team-building activities to help nurture team members through each phase of team development. The forming stage of team development is punctuated by excitement and anticipation. Group members are on high alert, each wanting to put their best foot forward while, at the same time, sizing up each other’s strengths and weaknesses. Tuckman’s model of team development recognizes that groups don’t form spontaneously or immediately.

See Why Top Ceos Trust Rhythm To Align Their Teams

While it may be tempting to take a sigh of relief, the last thing you want is for your team to start resting on their laurels. You might consider keeping the momentum going with these activities. Since the client you’ll be working for is new to the company, everyone is on the same footing when it comes to having limited knowledge about the client and the specific product. One team will have 30 minutes to research the client and the other will have 30 minutes to research the new product. Each team will then have one hour to collaborate to create a 15-minute presentation about the facts they uncovered.

Enabling Team Collaboration

A high degree of clarity of individual roles and responsibilities eliminates confusion and helps the team grasp its overall structure. We must think of all the individual contributions needed to achieve the defined objectives. Team roles and their individual occupiers can change over time, but it is necessary to start with a clear and logical structure and division of responsibilities. The individual roles your team members play are incredibly important to team performance. These roles could be the official title they were hired to do, or the role they fit into naturally within the group dynamic.

In this assignment the writer is going to describe the team development process also highlighting the role of a project leader in each process stage. Therefore it is of paramount importance to understand how to form and manage a team in a project in order to reach the desired project goal at the end of the project. The 4 Stages Of Team Productivity are the result of Dr. Bruce Tuckman’s group development theory. Team dynamics play a big part in pushing people past average and into exceptional success. The theory has become a core teaching in the field of project management.

In fact, teams in the performing stage still require the organization’s attention, primarily through performance monitoring. Frustration, disagreements, and personality clashes will always take place in the workplace. Rather than avoiding it, healthy teams learn how to resolve conflict. New team members will need to know how they are expected to interact with their teammates.

Early on in your team formation, establish a clear communication plan. A communication plan is an outline of how your team is going to communicate important information to key stakeholders. Clarity on the various avenues of communication allows team members to effectively get work done, understand their roles, and know where to find the information they need about work. Establishing a communication plan can help you do all of these things in a way that’s easy for your team to follow. The fifth stage of group development, also known as the mourning stage, is the final stage a team will go through. After a project is over or if a team is disbanded, team members who worked together will go into a small mourning period.

At times, it might feel like after-school-special group therapy, but as we discovered in a recent survey, professionalism can’t patch over a team’s underlying emotional connections. Teams that perform are constantly working out things like communication preferences, recognition of achievements, and workflows. At this initial stage, the team is essentially a collection of individuals beginning to think about the project and the role they’ll fill.

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