The 5 Stages of Team Development

During the stage, most people tend to drop their polite facades and show their true character. Forming, storming, norming, and performing are steps in the process of group development proposed by American psychologist Bruce Tuckman in 1965. Older, well-established teams can also cycle back through the stages as their circumstances change. Draw a simple four-stage diagram and ask each person to place a dot or sticky note next to the stage they think the team is at.

When forming a team, leaders need to build trust, set expectations and encourage involvement. You want to develop a keen sense of belonging in every member. Creating a team charter is a great tool to help your team, as is conducting different kinds of «get to know you» activities. 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.

Step #4: Performing stage of group development explained

It’s the time where your team learns about upcoming projects and structures. Here, it’s typical for teammates to feel excited, anxious, and curious about what lies ahead. During the Norming stage, members shift their energy to the team’s goals and show an increase in productivity, in both individual and collective work.

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  • Draw a simple four-stage diagram and ask each person to place a dot or sticky note next to the stage they think the team is at.
  • Document the comments so that it’s easy to see which trends emerge and what changes need to be made going forward.
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  • Mature team members begin to model appropriate behavior even at this early phase.
  • After all, their ability to overcome obstacles and achieve their goals is a reflection of a management job well done.
  • Teams may begin to develop their own language (nicknames) or inside jokes.

These situations can often be the cause of frustration, anxiety, and burnout for one or all members involved in the group (Mastering 5 Stages, n.d.). Members of a flustered and frustrated group can look at the 5 stages and use the behaviours that they’re exhibiting or general feelings of the group to track their progress within the five stages. Tuckman’s use of identifying words such as coping, anticipation, dissatisfaction, and optimism gives members groups the tools to recognize their stage of development. They can begin working toward fixing any current issues or decide if they are ready to move on to the next stage of development (Roy, 2019).

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Later, during the norming and performing stages, norms focus on relationships and levels of performance. Performance norms are very important because they define the level of work effort and standards that determine the success of the team. As you might expect, leaders play an important part in establishing productive norms by acting as role models and by rewarding desired behaviors. Skills of team building are essential for every manager and leader. It is important for the team leader to take them through team creation stages and move to productive stage.

4 stages of team development

The leader should guide the members through the process of getting to know one another and should motivate members to reach the team goals. One of the most popular theoretical frameworks of teamwork is Bruce Tuckman’s Stages of Group Development Model. Tuckman created this model in 1965 when working with the U.S. In addition to observing small group behavior, Tuckman studied over 50 articles on team development and identified trends that were common in all of his research. In this model, Tuckman identifies four stages teams go through and his idea was that if a team understands the stage they are in they will be more likely to work together successfully. A team can revert back to a previous stage if goals or team members change.

Conflict Resolution

For those group members who have previously worked together, formerly unresolved issues may even arise. Some conflict can be good as it can help work through issues, as well as determine whether or not the group will be able to work together. Ultimately, the group needs to gain clarity by working through its major issues, which allows them to move forward into the next stage. The leader’s role in team building during this stage is a significant one. It’s important to note that not all groups make it past this stage. The leader must stay positive and coach members in assertiveness and, where necessary, conflict resolution skills.

4 stages of team development

Everyone is on the same page and driving full-speed ahead towards the final goal. But, it is important to remember that most teams experience conflict. If you are the leader, remind members that disagreements are normal. In the storming stage, the reality and weight of completing the task at hand have now hit everyone. The initial feelings of excitement and the need to be polite have likely worn off.

Navigating the “norming” stage

The fourth stage is the one that all groups strive to reach. They usually fail to overcome conflict and can’t work together. If you’ve reached the fourth stage, pat yourself on the back.

4 stages of team development

This is the perfect team development stage to learn about how your team overcomes obstacles and bonds through shared experiences. Identifying each of the 4 stages of team development helps you underscore your team’s needs during each one. Tuckman’s model for group development is known and widely taught among business owners. Tuckman’s model has shown great results across many different businesses and for many different leaders. As the group starts to familiarize themselves, roles and responsibilities will begin to form. It is important for team members to develop relationships and understand what part each person plays.

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Because of this, there might be a lot of individual insecurity at the beginning. Members want their teammates to see them as competent and deserving individuals and as someone who can make a real impact on the team. With everyone trying to fit in, the communication during this stage is typically in a polite manner, so members may be less inclined to voice their own opinions.

Members may disagree on team goals, and subgroups and cliques may form around strong personalities or areas of agreement. To get through this stage, members must work to overcome obstacles, to accept individual differences, and to work through conflicting ideas on team tasks and goals. Failure to address conflicts may result in long-term problems. Many studies have identified teamwork as an essential tool for high quality work and safe patient care.(17,18) The teams that work together are more effective and innovative.

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Teams that have been working closely for some time have resolved enough issues to understand what success looks like for them. For example, success can be anything from higher customer acquisition to a positive shift in the metrics they’re tracking. When teams work in the same space, it’s easy to see what everyone’s doing. Designers are talking to product managers to get direction, 4 stages of team development or product managers meet with analysts to talk about user data and reports. It’s different for remote marketing teams because you can’t see what people are working on. To remedy this problem, put processes in place that make it easy for designers, for example, to see how content is developing so that they can anticipate when they’ll be able to complete their updates.