5 Stages of Team Development: Forming Teams
The introduction of a group should be structured by the leader. They should provide a safe and welcoming environment for all team members to share their skills, background knowledge and goals. Feedback is critical to improving your team’s performance while navigating through the five stages. In this regard, consider ending each meeting with constructive and insightful feedback to enhance the group process. Encouraging the notion that feedback should be given after every meeting makes it easier for team members to air their views. When you have been on a team, how did you know how to act?
Retrospective (30-60 min) – This classic agile technique works for any type of team in any industry. Gather up at the end of each iteration cycle to reflect on what’s going well vs. what’s not, and agree on adjustments to make. Remove obstacles by coordinating tightly with adjacent and upstream teams.
Once this debrief is complete, the team goes their separate ways. Features of Norming include purpose and goals are well-understood, more confident, improved commitment, members are engaged and supportive, relief , and developing cohesion. Provides a quick (60-90 minute) read about a successful agile transformation at a multinational entertainment and media company, told from the author’s perspective as an agile coach. Typical traits of Adjourning include a shift to process orientation, sadness, recognition of team and individual efforts, and disbanding.
Four Stages of Team Development
Disagreements are unavoidable on teams, especially when each person on the team has a different perspective on how to approach the issues the team encounters. When you all work in the same location, it can be easier to hash out problems quickly. On a remote team, you need to be more thoughtful about the tools and the processes that you use to identify and deal with disagreements.
Storming is a stage that is marked by interpersonal conflict as members become more proactive and compete for various team roles. Members try to establish norms of appropriate behaviour and performance standards (McShane et al., 2018, p. 233). During this stage, the team focuses on developing ideas; they develop feelings of frustration or anger with members or processes and members try to see how others handle conflict. This stage could be considered the less polite one due to frustration and disagreements.
The most commonly used framework for a team’s stages of development was developed in the mid-1960s by Bruce W. Tuckman. This stage begins to occur as the process of organizing tasks and processes surface interpersonal conflicts. Leadership, power, and structural issues dominate this stage. Performing teams also get the job done with minimal supervision and conflict.
Building Team Cohesion: Why It’s Crucial
As a result, you’ll establish yourself as a leader of a team rooted in transparency and trust while you communicate clear expectations and team principles. Discover our templates Made to solve challenges quickly and build stronger relationships with your team. You and your teammates trust each other enough to get a little creative and innovative, while still delivering stages of team development top-notch work on time. Managers and project leads need to keep their eyes open, but be mostly hands-off so the team can build muscle around working independently. When you start to sense that the left hand knows what the right hand is doing, you’ve made it into the “norming” stage. The challenge now is to move a bit faster while keeping the quality of your work high.
Share a link to these meeting notes afterwards so that everyone has access and can review it later. Organize the agenda so that each team member has five to ten minutes to talk through their insights and ideas. Allow extra time to review the ideas the team shares and to answer questions. In the performing stage, teams are in sync and work more efficiently together than at any previous stage. Teams that have been working closely for some time have resolved enough issues to understand what success looks like for them.
Navigating the “norming” stage
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Although members understand each other, conflicts may still arise at the norming stage of team development. Nonetheless, the conflicts can’t spiral into dysfunction because the team has gelled. Members have a more profound commitment to each other and the project’s completion, so it’s easier to handle conflicts.
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The team is collaborating to meet the original goals and objectives, and the members are excited to be on a high-performing team. In this stage, leadership is shared as the team works toward exceeding standards and continuous improvement. The norming stage of team development is like a months-old couple that accepts each other’s quirks and flaws. Team members adjust to teammate behaviors and devise strategies to overcome differences. Moving beyond initial hurdles, teammates acknowledge the common goal and focus on making significant progress. “Resolved disagreements and personality clashes result in greater intimacy, and a spirit of co-operation emerges.” This happens when the team is aware of competition and they share a common goal.
- This is where teams get to know each other, the abilities of their teammates and the details of the project they will all work on together.
- Once this debrief is complete, the team goes their separate ways.
- Managers and project leads need to keep their eyes open, but be mostly hands-off so the team can build muscle around working independently.
- However, if the tasks teams work on are too difficult, this stage can turn back into the storming one.
- The team is focused on getting to know each other and building relationships.
Every team moves through the four stages of development, and may slip back a stage or two as new challenges or opportunities arise. Being resilient, laying aside ego and working together will allow the team to meet the challenges and emerge stronger than when they started. Unless, of course, your team is sticking together, as you all will continue to work at the same company. That said, holding a retrospective meeting to analyze the team’s collective performance after the conclusion of a project is always valuable. Strategies for this phase include recognizing individual and team efforts, providing learning opportunities and feedback, and monitoring the ‘energy’ of the team. Strategies for this phase include recognizing individual and team efforts, proving opportunities for learning and feedback, and monitoring the ‘energy’ of the team.
Tuckman’s model has been used for over 50 years, which is the best proof that it does work. The choice of the stages’ names was not random – the endings form a pattern, as Tuckman tried to make the stages easy to recall. Make sure people know where to find information and how they are supposed to communicate information to others.
As you build a new team, keep the stages of team development in mind so you can help individual team members reach their full potential and collaborate together effectively. While there’s no one right way to support your team, try these four strategies to boost your team’s cohesiveness. As a team lead, it’s your goal to get your team to this stage as quickly as possible. We discuss more about how to get your team to this point below. Establishing group collaboration early on can help reduce the impact of—or even prevent—this stage of group development. This doesn’t necessarily mean that conflicts won’t happen.
Navigate the stages of team development
Emma-Louise Elsey has been coaching since 2003 and is the Founder of The Coaching Tools Company and Fierce Kindness.com. The Coaching Tools Company is an official ICF Business Solutions Partner. At this stage people avoid conflict and “play nice” with each other because they want to be accepted into the group. The group is learning about the objectives and goals – getting a feel for the work that must be done together. People tend to focus on practical details – who, what, when and where and work reasonably independently at this stage – while they learn where they and everyone else fits into the team. At the adjourning stage, the team gets a sense of closure.
Stage 2: The Storming Stage
Communication in the Workplace Crossed wires and missed connections – good communication among teams is tablestakes for effective teamwork. Get best practices and sound advice on how to create understanding and work together better. They tend to move through a number of stages – forming, storming, norming, and performing – as group members establish roles, relationships and figure out how to work together. Charma provides One on Ones, Team Collaboration, Feedback, Recognition & Goals — all in one place.
Practical Tips To Master Forming Teams
The forming stage of team development is the first step in team bonding. In this initial stage, group members gather and learn more about each other. Though some people might refer to the forming stage as “the honeymoon stage” of team building, it more closely resembles a first date.
The key is to remain flexible and adaptive in your approach to team management, always keeping the team’s needs and objectives in mind. The norming stage is when the entire team starts to work as a cohesive unit. By now, team members have figured out a strategy for working together. The internal competitions prevalent at the storming stage have been rooted out. Each team member’s roles and responsibilities are also clear.
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Performing is where the team members have learned to efficiently coordinate and resolve conflicts. In high-performance teams, members are highly cooperative, have a high level of trust in each other, are committed to group objectives, and identify with the team (McShane et al., 2018, p. 233). These changes also mean that managers must reevaluate how they enable team development. While remote teams may be just as productive as a team sharing an office space, it can be more difficult to facilitate cohesion and build rapport between team members. The team meets and learns about the opportunities and challenges, and then agrees on goals and begins to tackle the tasks. They may be motivated but are usually relatively uninformed of the issues and objectives of the team.