Navigating Friction Across The Different Stages Of Team Development

By April 21, 2021Software development

The storming stage only really starts once the individuals in a team have had a chance to get to know each other a little. The end of a project is naturally a great time to reflect, collect final learning points and think about what you might improve or do differently in the future. For an adjourning team, this can be an important step in enabling further growth and supercharging future projects and ensuring everyone is well positioned for whatever they do next. Crucially, you and your team should find some way to share learning points through reflection and then document them effectively. Reflecting on how perspectives and working practices have changed and been positively affected by individual and group effort can reveal great learning points for the future.

4 stages of team building

The team is mature, organised and has a sense of consensus and cooperation. Problems and conflict, of course, do still arise, but they are dealt with effectively. The prime focus of the team is on problem solving and meeting goals; effectiveness is at its peak.

Set Clear Goals

Members on the team trust one another and the structure is strong. Because of their strength, the team needs little supervision, and members all work together to make the best decision and move towards their goals. Simply put, being able to recognize your team’s current stage will allow you to better cater to your team and, if you are the team leader, to lead them to the shared goals. Different teams spend different amounts of time in each stage and also move across these stages depending on the leadership and guidance provided by the people in the organisation.

It is during the storming stage that teammates must be given the time and opportunity to learn the personality types, talents and tendencies of those they will be working with. Not all teams will reach the final stage that Tuckman describes, though – and the most crucial of the four stages as he describes them would be the storming stage. Tuckman’s four stages of group development are a really useful framework for both individuals and leaders to be aware of.

  • Cognitive bias can also impede judgement to create a distorted view of reality and attach a far more negative outcome to the situation.
  • Team members now see each other’s differences as strengths—everyone fits and has a role to play.
  • Instead, it should be facilitated, respected, understood and managed.
  • The leader should guide the members through the process of getting to know one another and should motivate members to reach the team goals.
  • It’s vital to stay alert to team dynamics and both individual and group performance – you may want to course correct or further strengthen certain aspects of how your team works together.
  • Take a look at your team, whether it’s internal or is a combination of internal and external members.

If you can keep the group focused on improving their skills, they will eventually move into Stage III. Clockwise optimizes teams’ calendars to create more time in everyone’s day. In our view, this is a good model that is worth sharing within teams, particularly recently formed teams.

A plants ideas and energy may decrease quickly if there are too many monitor evaluators as these people will motivate the plants by constantly pointing out the flaws in their ideas. This is the hardest stage in the development of any team, and undoubtedly your team will be at its least effective here. This stage is marked by conflict and competition as personalities and working styles begin to evolve and the members of the team are unfamiliar on how to communicate with each other. Teams may also disagree on goals and subgroups or cliques may form. Many teams often fail at this stage so it is important to reduce and address this conflict so that problems do not occur later on.

His original article was published with only four stages in team development, but later he added a fifth. Members continue to rely on the leader for help with navigating this stage, but not quite as much as in the Forming stage. Here, leaders work as directors in decision-making, but they allow members ultimately to resolve their issues with one another. If managed correctly, the storming phase can actually make teams stronger when they come out of it. But chances are that even if you have experienced the high and low periods of teams, you might not know exactly what they mean or why they happen. Bruce Tuckman defined these different stages of group development as Forming, Storming, Norming, and Performing.

Clockwise automatically shifts meetings to create uninterrupted blocks of Focus Time. Focus Time is perfect for increasing productivity, and allowing innovative ideas to be implemented. From a leadership perspective, the focus at this stage should really be on reducing friction and removing risks. Where possible, leaders should focus on setting and communicating clear and motivating goals, empowering the team and getting out of their way so they can get things done. The main purpose of this activity is to remind and reflect on what group members or participants have been through and to create a collective experience and shared story. Every individual will gain a shared idea of what the group has been through together.

That said, without direction and consideration, this process can be time-consuming, messy, or even frustrating and alienating for some team members. People are usually enthusiastic and have high, even unrealistic, expectations. They’re unsure about the task ahead and depend on authority for guidance. The top-down, traditional management hierarchy — too slow to meet the demands of today’s market — continues to disappear.

Having a way to identify and understand causes for change in the team’s behaviour can help the team to maximize its process and productivity. This is especially the case when the Tuckman analysis is used as a basis for conversation instead of a fixed diagnosis. In 1965, Bruce Tuckman, an educational psychologist developed one of the most influential models for group formation. Based on his observations of group behaviour in different settings and on literature study, he came up with a model representing the different phases groups need to go through to grow as a team.

From Forming To Performing: Leading Through The 4 Stages Of Team Development

From a leadership perspective, this stage is all about helping the group to progress through disruption. The disruption and challenge needs to happen, so it shouldn’t be stifled. Instead, it should be facilitated, respected, understood and managed. Leaders should think of the disruption and conflict as ultimately constructive at this stage.

How to detect employee disengagement before it’s too late Understand signs of disengagement at work, as well as strategies you can use to improve employee engagement and prevent churn. If you are at an office or shared network, you can ask the network administrator to run a scan across the network looking for misconfigured or infected devices. When this happens, it’s important to take stock of what your team needs. This gives them an opportunity to recognize their abilities as well as those of their teammates. Your team asks questions formulated in ways that are rooted in emotional intelligent practices. At this point, you recognize that your team has grown significantly and is capable of achieving big things together.

Event Teach Me And My Team?

In the forming stage, members feel unsure of their status on the team, and increasingly look to the leader for guidance. Little to no risk is taken, as group members value acceptance and stability over innovation. This is the stage where the team form’s their mission and establishes ground rules and objectives. Members need more guidance, since they’re less likely to take initiative and partake in any decision-making. From a work perspective, the storming stage will see individuals start to strive for more autonomy. They will seek to adopt their own preferred ways of working and potentially start to try to impose their ways of working on the wider group.

4 stages of team building

You might be starting a new project, or reallocating people within your organisation. Whatever the case, you are bringing together a group of people who may not have worked together before. Tuckman’s model contains five stages, which are Forming, Storming, Norming, Performing and Adjourning. The last Adjourning stage was not in the original model, but was instead added several years afterwards.

The Stages of Team Development Theory is an elegant and helpful explanation of team development and behaviour. Similarities can be seen with other models, such as Tannenbaum and Schmidt Continuum and especially with Hersey and Blanchard’s Situational Leadership model, developed about the same time. Team development requires a view of the group as a whole rather than its parts.

In its place, teams have become the preferred strategy for getting work done. With greater flexibility and access to resources, teams can achieve rapid results in ways that bureaucracies cannot. This is the point where the project comes to an end and the team separates and goes their separate ways.

This stage is when team members come together and are focused on learning about each other, understanding the rules of the group and being accepted by the group. Our “Connected Leadership” programme gives managers the skills and confidence to lead happy, healthy and effective teams. Tuckman later added a fifth stage to his model, “mourning” or “adjourning” which covered the breaking up of teams.

The 5 Stages Of Team Development

As all stages have their own focus, they also correspond to a different set of feelings, behaviours and group tasks. According to Tuckman, raising awareness about the different stages and why things are happening in certain ways could positively influence the team’s process and productivity. I’ll be going over the 4 stages of team development that are essential in getting your team to grow. The team and the organization take specific actions at each stage to support the team’s success inaccomplishing its mission. Supporting the team at each stage of development will help it accomplish its goal.

Using Tuckmans Model

Team members now see each other’s differences as strengths—everyone fits and has a role to play. In the performing stage, you’ll notice fluidity with communication and overall conversations. This is demonstrated through high morale, productivity and engagement. It’s an ideal state for any manager to witness their team’s growth and ask reflective questions. When your team has grown through the stages of team development they establish a state of “flow”. This means they understand how to work together in a cohesive way that helps them reach their goals.

How Can Leaders Initiate Team Development?

Use this workshop to refine priorities and empower ownership among team members. As with any aspect of teamwork, it can be easy to fall into a pattern and not consider how you might improve your process until it becomes a problem. Having an agreed-upon method of raising concerns and discussing them productively is a great way to ensure that your group is prepared to handle such difficulties when they come up. In virtual teams, the need for activities to help teams get to know each other is even greater, as some of the usual spaces for mingling and forming bonds are unlikely to be unavailable to them.

By guiding your team through the stages of group development, you also reduce bottlenecks and other hold-ups that might be caused by poor group dynamics. As a result of this social stabilization and acceptance, ways of working start to become more consistent and normalized. Trust starts to be built, friction reduces and the team starts to be able to focus on achieving a common goal with broadly consistent and 4 stages of team building understood ways of working. Once storming has completed, the team start to settle down and normalize. They start to get to know each other more, have a better understanding of the true views and opinions that each other hold and to settle into a broadly accepted social structure and hierarchy. At this stage, individuals’ priorities are to get to know each other, to be likable and to build relationships.

Team Development Stage 1: Forming

Team members need frequent direction and feedback, so you should anticipate a lot of meetings between members and leadership. Understanding Tuckman’s model will help you identify your team needs as you move through the stages. As a team leader, you’ll be in a better position to support your team, empower them, and promote healthy team dynamics. From a leadership perspective, the model helps leaders understand the different stages their teams can be at and why they may be at these stages.

Because a work team is a common arrangement within today’s business organizations, managers need to understand group behavior and team concepts. Managers must also decide on team size and member roles to gain the maximum contribution from all members. Generally, when organizations form teams, these organizations have specific projects or goals in mind.

This combination of internal and external reflection strengthens communication, productivity, and well-being within the team. Almost all teams lack one or more of these criteria at some point in their tenure. Team development strives to meet these criteria with ongoing reflection and growth. Like any form of development, it takes time and dedication to be effective.

In the performing stage, team members are often involved in multiple processes, and leading different efforts. Color Coding calendars is a great way for members to block time effectively, and plan their day at a glance. Clockwise automates the process of Color Coding by allowing you to assign different colors to types of tasks, eliminating the need to manually change colors every time you schedule a new task. Teamwork and creativity is at an all time high, and team members step up to take ownership over multiple parts of the project. Leaders provide little direction, meanwhile team members share new information and solutions constantly. In this stage, everyone is working towards the team’s goals, and group cohesion is at an all time high.