Using the Stages of Team Development MIT Human Resources

Given these conflicting feelings, individual and team morale may rise or fall throughout the ending stage. It is highly likely that at any given moment individuals on the team will be experiencing different emotions about the team’s ending. When that time comes it might help you to know that all teams go through a series of sequential stages as they grow towards sustained levels of high performance and synergy. The performing stage is one that is not gotten with ease, but it can be one of the most rewarding stages to reach. At the performing stage, each team member does their duty, understands their role, can navigate conflict between team members with relative ease, and knows when to ask for support from higher-ups and when it’s not necessary. The five stages of group development, according to Bruce Tuckman’s model, are forming, storming, norming, performing, and adjourning.

four stages of group development

When the group is permanent, it is usually called a command group or functional group. When the group is less permanent, it is usually referred to as a task group. An example here would be a corporate-sponsored task force on improving affirmative action efforts. In both cases, the groups are formal in that they are both officially established by the company to carry out some aspect of the business. To sum up, here’s a quick overview of the behaviors, feelings, group needs, and leadership needs in the Adjourning Stage. Some may falter at the earlier stages, due to the inability to properly address differences between team members or address problems as they emerge.

Leadership strategies to facilitate successful team development

This is a concept that psychologist Bruce Tuckman came up with to properly understand the progress of various teams and the development of key contributors. Ultimately, whether a group is newly formed or has been around a while, your objective should be to develop it into a high-performing team that enjoys working together and produces positive results for your organization. In the meantime, the team quickly makes a few edits that seem useful for ranking the articles even better. The project is officially completed.In the end, Stella, Adam, Daniel, and Daisy go their separate ways, capping off the project as a complete success in every way. Sometimes, subgroups may form around particular opinions or authority figures.

four stages of group development

One needs determination, research, and to rely on those who have come before him along with his or her natural talent in order to become a truly great leader and turn “workable” teams into extraordinary teams. None of us have perfect information, but we can get closer by sharing what we know and what we see. I like to play a game I call “Pin the Tail on the Tuckman” to uncover those differences in perception and align on where a team is at. You and your teammates trust each other enough to get a little creative and innovative, while still delivering top-notch work on time.

Establish your team’s mission early

A member who asserts authority or is knowledgeable may be looked to take control. Team members are asking such questions as “What does the team offer me? Whether you identify as a team member or a team leader, understanding each of these roles is critical for creating an effective team.

  • The fifth stage of group development, also known as the mourning stage, is the final stage a team will go through.
  • You come to realize that, by involving yourself, they’re burdened by an apprehension to speak up and would rather spend time rectifying the situation.
  • How did you know what behaviors were acceptable or what level of performance was required?
  • Tolerance of each team member and their differences should be emphasized; without tolerance and patience the team will fail.
  • The most productive of all, the Performing Stage yields immense benefits for the tasks and goals you established in the first 3 stages.

For example, Stella allows the rest of the team to suggest topics and angles for new articles more often. The team — no longer just a group — learns about each other’s strengths and weaknesses. More importantly, they realize how to harness their strengths and work arround their weaknesses. However, you won’t get far with your project by sweeping vital questions and potential problems under the rug. So, team orientation is over — and team members are likely to forgo the politeness they exercised in the first stage. At the start, SEO specialist Daisy is unsure if she needs to ask editor Stella about the keywords she wants to suggest for the content.

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If the previous step “storming” is completed well and with minimal repercussions from any negative conflicts, the norming step will be a simple settling down of members and finding their groove. If “storming” is not done properly, however, “norming” can involve many team members checking out mentally or finding apathy for a project. In agile software development, high-performance teams will exhibit a swarm behavior as they come together, collaborate, and focus on solving a single problem. Swarming is a sometime behavior, in contrast to mob programming, which can be thought of as swarming all the time. The key to moving through this stage is to make things as simple as possible.

four stages of group development

This is the stage when things begin to settle down as your team finds their groove. As they grow more comfortable working together, team members are more comfortable asking for help completing a task or getting constructive feedback. Your team starts to increase their productivity at this stage as they become more familiar with their teammates and their working styles.

Stage 4: Performing stage

Working in a team or group is a complex process that takes time and effort — and plenty of patience. Since the Storming Stage can be infused with power struggles, I sat down with a leadership coach, Alexis Haselberger, to dive deeper. She told me that we must do our best to name the problems and address them properly — especially at this point, where we risk getting stuck in this stage.

By implementing the 5 stages of group development, teams can reap vast benefits due to the clear-cut structure and step-by-step approach. Team members are able to prevent or solve problems in the team’s process or in the team’s progress. A “can do” attitude is visible as are offers to assist one another. Roles on the team may have become more fluid, with members taking on various roles and responsibilities as needed. Differences among members are appreciated and used to enhance the team’s performance.

Signs and questions to look out for in the performing stage

Some believe this cautious behavior prevents the group from getting any real work done. However, the focus for group members during the forming stage is to become familiar with each other and their purpose, not on work. The stages of group development in organizational behavior and management comprise the theory of team development.

Due to her rank as the editor, Stella takes the lead and suggests the outline for the content plan. Yet, writers Adam and Daniel think they should take a different angle. At this point, Adam and Daniel form a clique against four stages of group development Stella — although everyone’s excessive politeness makes it seem as though nothing’s wrong. Daisy is an experienced SEO specialist, Adam and Daniel work as longtime writers, and Stella brings to the table her editing skills.

Further challenges

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. 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.

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