Four Stages of Team Development What You Need to Know

Any insights should be shared in a public forum so everyone in the company can learn. And lastly, if you’re looking for more science-based ways to help your team develop their strengths, check out this collection of 17 strength-finding tools. Use them to help others better understand and harness their strengths in life-enhancing ways. Use the power of the GROW model to define team goals and boost motivation and cohesion. Provide training and resources to help team members better understand and manage their own emotions and those of others.

stages of team building

Team building takes time and practice, but can improve your team’s dynamics. Team activities alone may not fix teams with incompatible skill levels and dispositions, so better to select the right members for your team from the get go. Here your employees might need feedback regarding how team goals are achieved.

Achieving the Four Stages of Team Building

Hopefully, your team’s purpose or desired outcome is understood by this point. Now it’s time to make sure everyone understands the incremental milestones on the way to your goal, and what their role is in helping the team get there. Clarity as to what success looks like at each milestone will give your team a much-needed confidence boost. To foster accountability on your team, you should aim to create a safe environment where employees are not afraid to own up to mistakes and admit shortcomings.

  • The adjourning stage is when the team wraps up its activities.
  • The ideal is that they will not feel that they are being judged, and will therefore share their opinions and views.
  • You need to invest in tools that enhance team development meetings, workshops, and training.
  • These kinds of apathetic mindsets effectively kill a team as a whole.
  • Literally, the three key terms in this stage are teamwork, performance, and goal achievement.
  • Moreover, they might be looking to make an impression on their coworkers.

Document the comments so that it’s easy to see which trends emerge and what changes need to be made going forward. With the modern workplace demanding successful partnering across functional and geographical divides, fostering collaborative team working cultures becomes increasingly vital . Such conflicts can hinder progress and even grind everything to a halt. Thankfully, you can deploy some strategies to ensure your team navigates the stages without issues. For instance, outlining the team’s purpose and mission at the forming stage and retaliating during subsequent stages ensures no one loses sight of the common goal. Challenges have a minimal impact on team performance and morale because members have strategies for resolving them without compromising project timelines and progress.

Module 8: Groups, Teams, and Teamwork

Renowned psychologist Bruce Tuckman created an easily-understood model in 1965. It illustrates how teams in different fields undergo five similar stages of group development. Understanding the stages of team development enables you to build successful and high-performing teams. The next stage of group development is the storming stage.

Take the time to call out assumptions about the work and how you’ll work together. Solving problems face-to-face instead of over email or chat is a good investment right now because you’ll get a richer sense of who your teammates are as people. The forming-storming-norming-performing cycle repeats more often than you might think. Do you have a development plan for your current position? Take advantage of MIT’s comprehensive career planning and development consulting services.

stages of team building

Bruce Tuckman and Jensen suggested five different stages of group development in 1977. These stages are forming, storming, norming, performing, and adjourning. Typically, every team goes through these stages in order to become highly effective and successful. The adjourning or mourning stage of team development is where the group parts ways. The project has reached its natural end, and group members acknowledge that while the group has found success, it is time for the team to split and move on to new challenges. The mourning stage paves the way for more growth and learning and new opportunities.

It’s not uncommon for people to think or be told that they have a specific set of skills that allow them to be an above-average leader or an above-average team player. These skills are usually developed in early childhood and refined through high school. In project management, the Tuckman Ladder is referenced and used extensively by project managers to help them assemble and guide teams toward success. It might not be possible to plan an in-person meet-up, especially if your projects have short turnaround times. Create an agenda and establish a document to track ideas and comments during the meeting. Share a link to these meeting notes afterwards so that everyone has access and can review it later.

Even the most high-performing teams will revert to earlier stages in certain circumstances. Many long-standing teams go through these cycles many times as they react to changing circumstances. For example, a change in leadership may cause the team to revert to storming as the new people challenge the existing norms and dynamics of the team. Keep reminding the team to check in with each other regularly in person or via instant chat, but stay out of their way. They will waste time and lose their focus if they have to answer frequent, unscheduled questions about what they’re working on.

Have productive meetings your team can be proud of with a clear meeting agenda for every event in your calendar. To run a great meeting, keep the team aligned, and the agenda short, specific, and action-oriented. Be intentional about teaming and you’ll go farther, faster. Remote Control Keep on top of your work from home life with these tips and ideas from our team to yours. Here is a list of ways to celebrate with a virtual team, and ideas for recognizing employee of the month. Check out this list of communication gamesfor more ideas.

Changes, such as members coming or going or large-scale changes in the external environment, can lead a team to cycle back to an earlier stage. If these changes – and their resulting behaviors – are recognized and addressed directly, teams may successfully remain in the Performing stage indefinitely. In the Performing stage of team development, members feel satisfaction in the team’s progress. They share insights into personal and group process and are aware of their own (and each other’s) strengths and weaknesses. Members feel attached to the team as something “greater than the sum of its parts” and feel satisfaction in the team’s effectiveness.

The forming stage involves a period of orientation and getting acquainted. Uncertainty is high during this stage, and people are looking for leadership and authority. 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? ” Most interactions are social as members get to know each other. This is the stage when things begin to settle down as your team finds their groove.

It is highly likely that at any given moment individuals on the team will be experiencing different emotions about the team’s ending. In the Performing stage, the team makes significant progress towards its goals. Commitment to the team’s mission is high and the competence of team members is also high. Team members should continue to deepen their knowledge and skills, including working to continuously improving team development.

Trust, openness, honesty, cooperation, confrontation, and reviewing results become the norm. The points above are helpful because they enable us to distinguish between people working together in groups and those forming effective teams. This final phase of team building is the stage at which teams are actually working on the project itself or the everyday functioning of a team.

Want to do team building online?

Here, there’s cohesion, trust, and understanding among team members. The team functions at peak efficiency, and little or no oversight are needed. At the performing stage, it’s easy to accomplish tasks since members are in tandem and understand the process.

stages of team building

Literally, the three key terms in this stage are teamwork, performance, and goal achievement. The reason is overall goals are accomplished by a team through teamwork. In this article, let’s have a look at these stages along with some team building activities that you can try in each stage.

In any team, members can’t work in tandem if there’s no chemistry between. A team’s effectiveness gets enhanced by a commitment to ongoing growth and development. That’s particularly for new teams because members need to get acquainted with each other first before they start to work towards the common goal. The first stage of group development is the forming stage.

Storming — It’s inevitable, there’s going to be conflict

Often the logical mind works within defined biases or other constraints. Intuition recognizes signals outside of the logical filters. Whether you identify as a team member or a team leader, understanding each of these roles is critical for creating an effective team. The most effective team member is one that knows he or she needs to work with his or her team members, a good team leader will know all of this like the back of their hand. Alasdair A. K. White together with his colleague, John Fairhurst, examined Tuckman’s development sequence when developing the White-Fairhurst TPR model. They simplify the sequence and group the forming-storming-norming stages together as the “transforming” phase, which they equate with the initial performance level.

stages of team building

A communication plan is an outline of how your team is going to communicate important information to key stakeholders. 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. The forming → storming → norming → performing model of group development was first proposed by psychological researcher Bruce Tuckman in 1965.

Resources to stay productive and profitable

Some of your employees may have always acted alone, and may need time to get used to depending on other group members. In the forming stage, employees are likely to have issues with connecting with others and getting involved in a group. So, conducting icebreakers and team bonding activities is desirable. is a leading authority on team building and engagement at work. They decide how communication should take place between meetings. Chris emphasizes the importance of attendance and that each member’s input is vital.

Frustration, annoyance, and anxiety tend to arise as a result. Team members need to learn to use conflict positively so that it doesn’t slow or hinder their progress. Whether you’re building a new team or working on a specific project with cross-functional partners, it’s important to establish your team’s mission early on.

Some groups may avoid the phase altogether, but for those who do not, the duration, intensity and destructiveness of the “storms” can be varied. Tolerance of each team member and their differences should be emphasized; without tolerance and patience the team will fail. This phase can become destructive to the team and will lower motivation if allowed to get out of control. Some teams will never develop past this stage; however, disagreements within the team can make members stronger, more versatile, and able to work more effectively together.

Performing — High-performance is the name of the game.

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. The 5 stages of team building might be familiar to you if you’re a business leader or manager.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *