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Tuckman’s Stages Of Group Development

You can also choose to end each meeting with insightful and constructive feedback that improves the group process. To take it one step further, leave specific time for this feedback when you outline the meeting agenda. That way, it’s built-in to the time and it’ll never go forgotten. As mentioned, some of the stages are team development may have some conflict, disagreements, or general butting of heads. However, there are some strategies you can do to help your team advance through the five stages with minimal conflict. In order to not get bottlenecked in the storming stage, members have to work together and play to each other’s strengths to overcome obstacles and stay on pace.

Team members buy into the process and begin to work together effectively. The team achieves better cohesion as people find ways to work together, despite their differences. Hopefully the cycle is shorter the next time around, especially if team members are aware.

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.

Click the name of each activity below to get step-by-step instructions and other helpful resources like templates and videos. In the past, we would look to HR or our boss’ boss for guidance. While those people are still available when we need them, we usually don’t.

Scott has coached 13 Minnesota State Championship-winning teams and 27 individual Minnesota State Champions. He was the USTFCCCA Endurance Specialist School junior team leader for the World Cross Country Team in 2003 and the senior team leader in 2008. Scott is a 14-year USATF Level II endurance lead instructor. None of the stages can be skipped or minimized if success is to be the outcome.

Have someone external to the team conduct confidential interviews of the team members and other key stakeholders. At times, norming might feel like after-school-special group therapy, but as we discovered in a recent survey, professionalism can’t patch over a team’s underlying emotional connections. Teams that stay in Norming are constantly working out things like communication preferences, recognition of achievements, and workflows. For teams who can problem solve and find a way to complement each other, the smooth road of understanding and acceptance of the team dynamic is what’s around the corner. Overall, in order to get to real productivity, teams need to move past the small talk and be ready to engage on a more real level, potential conflict and all.

Moving through the four stages of team development is much easier if the team has a common understanding of what it means to work well with one another. Typically, when the phrase “client service” is used, it’s referring to external clients. As the name implies, the Storming stage of team development involves some conflict.

Tuckman’s Stages Of Group Development

This is then followed by a “performing” phase that leads to a new performance level which they call the “reforming” phase. Supervisors of the team during this phase are almost always participating. Even the most high-performing teams will revert to earlier stages in certain circumstances.

In her spare time, she’s either at the gym, reading a book from her overcrowded bookshelf, enjoying the great outdoors with her rescue dog Zeke, or right in the middle of a Netflix binge. Obsessions include the Chicago Cubs, Harry Potter, and all of the Italian food imaginable. Hybrid Work PanelInsights from leaders at Loom, Upwork, Oyster, Because Mondays, and Fellow on how to embrace Hybrid Work.

four phases of team development

It’s important to demonstrate the skills you want the team to develop. You are still responsible for the team’s health and results. This stage is also known as the “mourning stage” as it’s the final stage of the team working together.

A group of people are first brought together as a team in this stage. As the name “Forming” suggests, this stage represents the formation of the team. Teams move through a series of four phases – from when they are formed to when their work is complete. Team size should take into account the scope and complexity of the required tasks and activities. Accountability is the assignment of responsibility for outcomes to an individual or group to create an incentive for performance.

See Why Top Ceos Trust Rhythm To Align Their Teams

Group members may compete with each other for areas of responsibility and/or specific tasks. There can also be conflict about the goals and objectives of the project . 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.

The best personality tests & tools for teams at work In this article we explore the best 10 and most popular personality tests and tools for teams that want to be more effective and happier. Norming stage is marked by traits such as reconciliation, reduced anxiety and emotions, development of trust, and collaboration among the team members. They tend to collaborate with the team members by adjusting their behaviors and work habits to support the team. Accountability is the acknowledgment and assumption of responsibility for actions, products, and decisions. In a management context, accountability explicitly identifies who is responsible for ensuring that outcomes meet goals and creates incentives for success. A team can gather the necessary data by holding a meeting in which members discuss what has gone well and what they would like to change about how they work together.

We’ll show you what it means to embrace transparency, foster a sense of belonging, form connections, and have a little fun along the way. Teams move through a series of four phases—from when they are formed to when their work is complete. Use what you learned in the interviews to design an impactful agenda. My experience is that people are more engaged when they see “their fingerprints” on the agenda.

four phases of team development

Team Meetings GuideLearn how the world’s best companies run effective team meetings – featuring insights from Figma, Buffer, Close, Webflow, Shopify, and more. Objectives Stay on top of your team’s goals by clearly recording, defining, and tracking the progress of your OKRs in Fellow’s Objectives tool. As you learn about their progress, you ask them questions about their processes and notice how they collaboratively provide constructive answers. As you communicate with them you notice how confidently they articulate their ideas.

*updated* Tuckman’s Team And Group Development Model & How To Use It

It’s much harder to undo negative norms after they’ve become established in a team. This is the stage where the team begins to function as a cohesive unit, no longer focused on individual goals. Team members have learned how to express their opinions in a respectful way, communicate displeasure or disapproval in a productive manner, and resolve conflict quickly and efficiently. This is the stage where team members begin to trust one another.

four phases of team development

Your participation should be much more focused on how the team is tackling problems rather than solving the problems for them. You will still raise issues, ask questions, and challenge approaches, but more to validate the team’s conclusion than to drive it. Leadership belongs to everyone on the team, and the team owns its results. Seek first to understand and encourage everyone on the team to take the same approach. Act as a sounding board and allow any hidden agendas to surface. Provide information and suggest alternative solutions to roadblocks.

Process Mapping

Finding the right processes will help ease difficulties in timing, communication, and organization. Be sure to validate great teamwork early and often, even if it’s even more often now that your team is on top of its game. Team members have a clear understanding of where they can best serve the team’s needs, and everyone is highly motivated to get to the same goal. Fair warning to team members who don’t like conflict—things will get awkward. But if teams can’t identify the issues, communicate constructively, and work to resolve them, they will get stuck at this stage.

Finally, taking this a step further, a regular team review of this model can help team members to see the progress being made, and reward them for it. Bruce Tuckman teamed up with Mary Ann Jensen in 1977 to add a fifth stage – adjourning, sometimes called mourning. Clashes occur due to different personalities and differences in what are the four stages of team development working styles – the ways things get done. Resentments and irritations that were buried in the last stage erupt and negatively effect the team’s performance. Tuckman’s Group Development Model has since formed the basis of many future team and group models, and is used extensively by management consultants and in team-building.

  • In the norming stage, consensus develops around who the leader or leaders are, and individual member’s roles.
  • You recognize that your team is new, and want them to feel supported, motivated and psychologically safe.
  • For example, if a new member joins the team, there may be a second brief period of formation while that person is integrated.
  • An effective leader, who other members of the team want to follow, is indispensable.
  • And although it may be slightly cliche, there’s a lot of truth to it.
  • Often, this occurs when a conflict begins between team members.

An effective leader, who other members of the team want to follow, is indispensable. We can say that this is a stage where team members still view themselves as individuals rather than part of the team. RetreatAn event during which people shift focus from their daily routines and responsibilities to personal or group development.


If the first step gets too long there will not be enough time for the rest of the steps. If the last step is too much time then the peaking period leading to a taper is too long compared to the rest of the season. The team leader’s job at stage 2 is to foster communication. An effective team leader will harness the team’s diversity by addressing and leveraging conflict.

Who Invented Tuckman’s Team & Group Development Model?

If you are the team leader, you should be aware that there can be overlap between the norming and the storming stages. A team can fall back into the storming stage due to new tasks or more complicated portions of the project. Leaders should continue to work closely and communicate with their team to get past the storming stage and return to the norming stage. For some teams, this may occur when the leader is challenged by a team member who feels that they could do a better job than the leader. On other teams, members may start to feel overwhelmed with assigned tasks or are uncomfortable with some aspect of the project. Another situation could be that the team members think the goal is not clear and resist working on tasks they don’t think are essential.

What Makes Great Teams So Successful? Is It The Individual? A Charismatic Team Leader?

Everybody must believe and trust one another if the team is to run to success. It has taken fifteen weeks of highs and lows to get to this point, but hopefully the athletes are fit, anxious and ready to form their racing packs in the most important races of the year. An organized and experienced coach is definitely a plus in making the steps flow along from one stage to another smoothly. Coaching stubbornness, indifference, inexperience, or a laissez faire team structure are all roadblocks to the process. Contrast that with last year’s U.S. women’s hockey team, which won the first U.S. gold medal in women’s hockey since the sport was introduced. The unexpected triumph happened 38 years to the day after the original “Miracle on Ice,” when the U.S. men’s hockey team shocked the world by beating Russia in the 1980 Olympics.

The co-creation stage, when the focus shifts towards developing group outputs. Self-evaluation process to make groups cooperate more effectively. At this stage, group members are learning what to do, how the group is going to operate, what is expected, and what is acceptable. Ralph Kison April 2, 2019 Very good summary highlighting the phases and emotional and personal impact to be aware of. Storming can still occur – especially when there is change or stress on the team, but in general the team is beginning to work effectively.

They must work together, divide up the responsibilities for the project and complete it on time. This process encompasses the stages of team formation which we will discuss in more detail below. His theory, which is referred to asTuckman’s Stages, is centered around his research on the dynamics of teams and team building. His common belief of team development that the stages are all necessary for a group to work together as effectively together as possible in order to see success. His theory, which is referred to as Tuckman’s Stages, is centered around his research on the dynamics of teams and team building.