Stages Of Team Development

Promote a culture of active listening so that the environment can be non-judgmental and open. Encourage your team to share ideas and opinions through brainstorming sessions. Making the decision to study can be a big step, which is why you’ll want a trusted University. The Open University has 50 years’ experience delivering flexible learning and 170,000 students are studying with us right now. A few years back, I was in this exact scenario with a co-worker. We thought we trusted each other, but then we started disagreeing in meeting after meeting, and we’d both walk away discouraged and frustrated.

As personality conflicts arise, a manager needs to help team members work together to resolve issues calmly. As you realize, you are an important catalyst in monitoring and mixing your team’s chemistry. Keep the stages of team development in mind as you guide your team from Forming to Performing. While chemistry class is not required for most coaches, it is typically one of the most important subjects to comprehend.

stages of team formation

Stay up to date with the latest practical scientific articles. The team cooperates on establishing rules, values, standards and methods. Team members who are afraid of changes, or who have become close friends with colleagues, may find this stage difficult because their future now looks uncertain. This stage requires the maximum of the leader’s attention and involvement. Let’s look at each stage in details and see what involvement is needed from a leader.

Participative Management

The Forming stage of team development is the time when individuals start understanding that they are an integral part of the team and will have to work together with each other. The forming stage of development helps to develop a better understanding and strong relationship with each other. One of the vital stages of team development includes establishing team norms during the various phases it goes through.

Once this debrief is complete, the team goes their separate ways. 📚 Learn more about the differences between transactional and transformational leadership. Maintaining an effective team is much like maintaining a garden; if left unattended, it loses its ability to thrive. Team development ensures that the team can thrive in the long term. Now that the storm has begun to calm, everyone is starting to see who the other team members truly are. Team members are aware of each other’s strengths and weaknesses.

It’s only after two people get past the first valley that they can cross the chasm into real and lasting trust. All teams go through four predictable and evolving formation periods. You simply can’t increase your performance without evolving through them.

It’s not that employees don’t want to have fun and become closer to their coworkers. It’s more likely that they’ve encountered team building games that have been uncomfortable, boring, or just plain corny. Keeping these stages in mind, most of the problems that I see with teams are ones of conflict where teams get stuck in the Storming stage. Conflicts are continually flaring up because individuals often do not have the skills and/or maturity to effectively handle their differences.

This is the time to begin to see what constructive criticisms the group has for each other, in addition to doing evaluations. It usually starts if there is a conflict between team members’ natural working styles. Everyone has their own working approach, and the success of the team depends on a proper communication and willingness to compromise. However, if different working styles cause unforeseen problems, they may become frustrated. The leader must feel such negative trends within the team and efficiently manage conflicts. If you’re looking to keep your customer-facing employees sharp or boost persuasion skills among other team members, try this game.

The 5 Stages Of Team Development

Your approach to conflict is a crucial variable in successful team building. You may even want to alert your team to the fact that not everyone is going to agree and like each other 100% of the time and that this is a normal and necessary part of team development. The biggest key is how constructively your team handles the inevitable conflict. Typically, we take time on the front end to teach our players some conflict management skills in an effort to weather the Storming stage. The second stage occurs when a group of individuals with various wants, needs and insecurities starts to more closely interact and compete with one another. Inevitably, because of the various personalities and individual goals on your team, conflicts between players, coaches, staff will surely arise.

All the five stages of team development follow one another in order so that individuals can become an effective team that can mitigate weaknesses and enhance strengths. According to Tuckman’s theory, a team cannot develop overnight. It has to undergo all the five stages to achieve team dynamics and accomplish intended results.

  • Encourage your team to share ideas and opinions through brainstorming sessions.
  • It is vital to see whether all the members are a perfect fit within the team.
  • By this stage, the team has started to figure out how to work together.
  • Lots of bars and restaurants run trivia nights, so you can further strengthen team bonds by competing against people outside of your organization.
  • They may feel deceptive overconfidence and therefore challenge your authority or jockey for position.

The performing stage is the perfect time to work on perfecting skills and increasing efficiency. Test how far your communication skills have come and how the group dynamic has solidified. This stage follows Norming and occurs only after effective standards are in place and firmly embraced by the team.

Individuals will try to establish whom they want to be in a more forceful, independent way. This is also the stage in which there may be a form of leadership struggle as those who typically take charge butt heads. Your weekly retrospective meetings during this phase should focus on making sure the team has a chance to get to know each other. Activities like laser tag or other fun outings would be a great way to plant seeds of camaraderie between team members. After the storming stage of Tuckman’s stages of group development, the team starts working in a fulfilling manner.

One of the best ways to build team chemistry is to have a clear understanding of the typical stages of team development. Much like a child growing up, just about every team progresses through certain developmental stages throughout the course of a season. Your role as a coach is to use the following stages of team development as a guide and facilitate your team’s natural progression through them. The concept of Forming, Storming, Norming and Performing describes the four stages of psychological development a team goes through as they work on a project.

Key Digital Transformation Skills And Proven Strategies For Virtual Training Bootcamps

With this information, the team can begin aspiring to a better team dynamic. An early and durable model is the Tuckman model of team development. You may have heard managers speak of forming storming norming performing as if the concept is self-explanatory. Let’s unpack the forming norming storming performing definition.

Teams can go back and forth between these stages, especially as new challenges and demands arise during the season. Injuries, conflicts and losses can cause a team to regress from the Norming stage back into the Storming stage. As you probably realize, team building is a complex, ever-changing process that must be continually monitored and adjusted.

stages of team formation

Some teams may have a very smooth and rapid passage through the first few stages of the model whereas others may have a much more difficult passage. 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.

Forming.This is when individuals first start working together. The best thing a manager can do at this point is to help everyone to stages of team formation get to know each other. Gain immediate and full access to all our articles, features, how-to’s, discussion group, archives, etc.

What Are Tuckmans Stages Of Group Development

It has even been found that teams that devote excessive attention to their own development are less productive and enjoyable to work in than those that do not. Therefore, the skill in facilitating team development is to know when, how, and if at all, to intervene in building the team. While a number of these changes are to the benefit of the workforce, it can make team development more challenging for managers. Team dynamics and rapport may not develop naturally, as members don’t have a water cooler or coffee machine to interact around. This means it’s all the more important for managers and team leaders to prioritize and facilitate team development. It’s critical that virtual teams learn to collaborate and communicate effectively.

stages of team formation

The FiveStages of Team Development were developed by psychologist Bruce Tuckman in 1965. These five stages advance as a team works together, but especially when a team brings awareness to their dynamic. It’s like when you’re cutting wrapping paper and the scissors just start to glide. The project has been started and everyone finally remembers everyone’s name. Unfortunately, as familiarity builds, so does the awareness of everyone’s more… annoying habits.

For Individuals:

You often look at your co-worker and think, «I thought I trusted you, but now I’m not so sure.» Trust is something that all teams continuously build and improve on. Yet too often we take trust for granted when we have it, or we run for the hills and dig in our heels the second we feel we don’t have it with a co-worker. Buy it now for lifetime access to expert knowledge, including future updates. This is useful to use as a diagnostic framework to overcome hitches when integrating remote or virtual teams.

The team can handle conflict and proceed with the project successfully. Some team building exercises have a way of mirroring work life perfectly. In this game, the team stands in a circle with each person holding onto a long, circular loop of string. Then, the leader asks the group to work together to create different shapes with their string loop, such as a square or figure eight. To make it harder, you can have some team members close their eyes.


Give employees a change of scenery and kick off a building contest in the break room. Task each team in this game with building the tallest tower they can with a set of provided items, such as popsicle sticks and marshmallows. The teams have a set amount of time to build the highest tower they can. It has to be able to stand on its own for at least six seconds.

During the storming phase, leaders must be actively involved in managing conflict for the phase to come to a successful resolution. When a team first comes together, it’s important to identify the boundaries of this new unit. How to prepare for a skip level meeting Learn what makes a good skip level meeting, how to create a skip level meeting agenda, and key questions for both managers and employees to ask. As talented as we may be at our jobs, there is always room for improvement. The next project can always be better than the last, and we can always be better than we were yesterday.

Norming.In the third stage of team building, the group starts to hit their stride and establish the roles and processes that get them positive results. Managers can strengthen social connections here through games that provide entertainment and emphasize communication. The Norming stage occurs when your team begins to settle on a set of rules and standards as to how things will be done. Norming relates to your team’s standards in practices, the classroom, weight training, conditioning, mental training, social life, etc.

Do Not Run Away From Conflicts

Academics are studying it, organizations are assembling conferences devoted to it, and sure enough, many quacks are peddling their ability to teach it. But that shouldn’t disguise the fact that the field has generated powerful insights over the decades. The first step in team development is to set a clear purpose at the beginning itself. What is the company mission, what values is it promoting and what is its goal should be clearly defined with help of a mission statement? The framework will prove useful in giving a purpose and direction to all the members throughout the process.

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