5 Stages of Team Development Complete Guide

During the Forming stage, much of the team’s energy is focused on defining the team so task accomplishment may be relatively low. During the Forming stage of team development, team members are usually excited to be part of the team and eager about the work ahead. Members often have high positive expectations for the team experience. At the same time, they may also feel some anxiety, wondering how they will fit in to the team and if their performance will measure up.

  • Also, team members begin to clearly see others’ strengths and accept their weaknesses.
  • The performing stage is critical to the team, and reaching it usually portends the success that’s to come.
  • Although norming is a calm stage of team development, there are still things that you can and should do to help things run more smoothly.
  • The adjourning stage is a time for both mourning and celebration.
  • But, you can point out areas of improvement or strengths to the group as a whole, without pointing fingers.

Failure to address conflicts may result in long-term problems. While these four stages—forming, storming, norming, and performing—are distinct and generally sequential, they https://globalcloudteam.com/ often blend into one another and even overlap. For example, if a new member joins the team there may be a second brief period of formation while that person is integrated.

Stage #3 — The Norming Stage

Some teams adjourn with silence, some with celebration, and others with sadness. Regardless of the length or success of a project, each team deserves a hearty affirmation of its concerted efforts. The adjourning phase is a fantastic opportunity for leaders to encourage long-term connections, reflect on the growth of the team, and celebrate the project closing. Engaging team development benefits the team in a number of ways.

In teams, the internal characteristics are the people in the team and how they interact with each other. 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. Though Tuckman presented the different phases as a linear model, it is important to realize that in practice, the phases are rather fluid and group formation is not always a linear process.

Leadership decisions, individual work habits, and communication lapses during the storming stage can create tension within a team. 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.

If your team has reached this stage, you’re on a clear path to success. You have a mature, well-organized group now fully-focused on reaching the project goals established in the Forming stage. To illustrate the 5 stages of team development, let’s look at the example of Daisy, Adam, Daniel, Mark, and Stella. The 5 of them are neighbors and they just moved to the countryside.

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

Their focus may shift from the tasks at hand to feelings of frustration or anger with the team’s progress or process. Members may express concerns about being unable to meet the team’s goals. During the Storming stage, members are trying to see how the team will respond to differences and how it will handle conflict. The team members are trying to figure out their roles and what the team should be doing, which can lead to some conflict.

stages in team formation

This is a productive stage, as the team is now able to start tackling tasks and achieving goals. The final stage in team development is called adjourning/transforming. This is when the team has accomplished what it was charged to do and goes through the process of dismantling itself.

Stage #1 — The Forming Stage

Teams with strong performance norms and high cohesiveness are high performing. Team members may feel a variety of concerns about the team’s impending dissolution. They may be feeling some anxiety because of uncertainty about their individual role or future responsibilities.

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The team is focused on problem solving and meeting team goals. About 10 years after Tuckman created his original 4-stage model, he then added a fifth stage, which is Adjourning. More often in the corporate world, cross-functional teams will be formed for a project and then disperse at the end of the project. However, before moving on to the next project, it can be beneficial for the leader to overview with the team their successes and challenges , as well as celebrating their accomplishment. After working through the significant issues, the group begins to coalesce and actually work as a team, supporting each other, and this is known as the Norming stage. During this phase of team building, responsibilities are clearly defined and the team begins to map out a plan to achieve its goals.

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Though a team leader’s first instinct may be to play peacekeeper and sidestep an argument, navigating conflict resolution is an essential step in a team’s growth. Learning how to handle dissonance early strengthens a team and readies teammates to overcome more complex challenges with grace. Skipping this crucial development stage can stunt a team’s growth and delay true harmony.

stages in team formation

Sales LeadersFellow helps Sales leaders run productive 1-on-1s, team meetings, forecasting calls, and coaching sessions. In this stage typically team members are ready to leave causing significant change to the team structure, membership, or purpose and the team during the last week of class. While the group continues to perform productively they also need time to manage their feelings of termination and transition. Establishing ground rules from the get-go ensures they get followed as the group moves from one stage to the next.

They accept others as they are and make an effort to move on. The danger here is that members may be so focused on preventing conflict that they are reluctant to share controversial ideas. At the end of the day, when your team implements the five stages of team development, it sets up everyone in all roles for success. Sometimes also called the termination, mourning, or ending stage, most, if not all, of the goals of the team have been accomplished. The project as a whole is being wrapped up and final tasks and documentation are completed. As the workload becomes smaller, it’s common for team members to be taken off the assignment and delegated to a new project.

#4 PERFORMING

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. The five stages of team development are forming, storming, norming, performing and adjourning. Next up is the performing stage, which tends to be where there is the most cohesive work environment, people are happy and excited, and team performance is at an all-time high. There’s a clear and stable structure in place throughout the group and everyone is fully committed to achieving the goals put in place. In the performing stage, there’s a sense of focus, purpose, and alignment from everyone on the team, no matter their role.

stages in team formation

Sometimes, subgroups may form around particular opinions or authority figures — which are all clear signs that team cohesion has not happened yet. Be patient and give your team time to progress through each stage. Encourage team members to share their ideas and contribute to the discussion.

While all phases of team building are important, many leaders consider storming to be the most important stage of team development. During the storming stage, team members encounter initial obstacles and master conflict resolution. This is one of the most crucial points for building trust and forming resilient relationships. Teammates move beyond the introductory forming stage and start putting plans into action. At this point, teammates have built up enough trust to feel safe sharing honest opinions with the others. In terms of the dating metaphor, this stage is akin to a couple’s first fight, a disagreement over something silly like a comment over a movie or a mess in the sink.

Also, take the time to address and overcome conflicts early on so they don’t stay an issue throughout the other phases. Team Meetings GuideLearn how the world’s best companies run effective team meetings – featuring insights from Figma, Buffer, Close, Webflow, Shopify, and more. Chiefs of StaffTrack key takeaways from executive meetings, enhance alignment across scaling teams, and amplify the CEO’s communication to help the company flourish. SolutionsMeeting agenda softwareCollaborate on meeting agendas, assign action items, and ask for meeting feedback. The final stage, adjourning, involves the termination of task behaviors and disengagement from relationships. A planned conclusion usually includes recognition for participation and achievement and an opportunity for members to say personal goodbyes.

Do the five stages of team building always occur in the same order?

The team will likely be excited to work together and will have a lot of energy. However, they may also be uncertain about their role in the team and what is expected of them. Team members start to develop trust and respect for each other, and they start working together as a unit.

Stage 3 – Norming

The skills of each member are fully optimized, supervision is almost never needed, and members feel a strong sense of trust in one another. During the “forming” stage of team development, the team members acquaint themselves with the basic aspects of their task. Forming stage four stages of team development discussion topics often include the project goal, team member roles, basic ground rules, and designation of authority. The forming stage is truly a honeymoon phase in teamwork—productivity is low, but the team members are too newly acquainted to encounter conflict.

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The storming stage is the most difficult and critical stage to pass through. It is a period marked by conflict and competition as individual personalities emerge. Team performance may actually decrease in this stage because energy is put into unproductive activities. 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.

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