Software development

Manager’s Guide to Navigating The Four Stages of Team Development Medium

Team Meetings GuideLearn how the world’s best companies run effective team meetings – featuring insights from Figma, Buffer, Close, Webflow, Shopify, and more. As a manager, you’re now familiar with the 5 stages of group development, but your team likely isn’t. If you’ve visualized team hierarchy and processes during the forming stage, you can use those visuals to reiterate how team members should be working together. If you’re a manager, you can help the storming stage resolve and progress by negotiating compromises among team members. Compromising during the storming stage resolves conflict and pushes the team to forward.

  • When each of the five stages is carried through, your group will feel more in sync and be a high-functioning unit.
  • And while they feel confident, some other team members may want to stay in their comfort zone, preferring not to be confrontational or even express their thoughts.
  • This is often when the team starts to produce its best work.
  • The initial feelings of excitement and the need to be polite have likely worn off.
  • Encourage team members to share their ideas and contribute to the discussion.
  • How was it manifested in your group (e.g., through polite confrontation, through anger, etc.)?

They share insights into the 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. Members feel confident in their individual abilities and those of their teammates.

Stage 2: The Storming Stage

During the initial stages, in particular, there’ll be lots of conflicts, disagreements, and a clash of personalities. This is expected when people with different perspectives come together to work towards a 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. A team’s performance is at peak capacity at this stage because everyone has learned to identify and leverage each other’s strengths for the common good. As strong personalities emerge, team leaders should ensure these individuals don’t inadvertently dominate the rest of the team and the project’s outcomes.

what is the storming stage of team development

It now transitions to a period focused on developing shared values about how team members will work together. Norms become a way of simplifying choices and facilitating collaboration, since members have shared expectations about how work will get done. Psychologist Bruce Tuckman shared the team development process with the world in 1965. Tuckman asserted that each of these phases was necessary in order for a team to learn, grow, and deliver results of the highest quality. These changes also mean that managers must reevaluate how they enable team development.

Stages of Team Development: Forming Teams

They can rely on each other to do the hard work they were hired to do, despite any differences that arise. For smaller, cross-functional teams, use your main project objective for your team’s mission statement. For example, a cross-functional team between web development and marketing may have a project goal of decreasing page load time to 1.5 seconds. When you create a team culture that values honesty and transparency, you create a sense of psychological safety for your team.

Not knowing each other, people tend to work alone, and that might put future teamwork at risk. By following these tips, you can help your team move through the five stages of team development and achieve success. This is when the team comes together and starts to get to know each other.

An easy way to do so is by encouraging everyone’s participation in team activities. Once the storming stage gets navigated, the team can achieve a better dynamic. During the forming stage, team members are often optimistic and enthusiastic about getting started.

There is still a need for the team to focus on both process and product, setting new goals as appropriate. 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. They share insights into personal and group process and are aware of their own (and each other’s) strengths and weaknesses.

Collaborative On-Line Research and Learning

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The level of cohesiveness on the team primarily determines whether team members accept and conform to norms. Team cohesiveness is the extent that members are attracted to the team and are motivated to remain in the team. Members of highly cohesive teams value their membership, are committed to team activities, and gain satisfaction from team success. They try to conform to norms because they want to maintain their relationships in the team and they want to meet team expectations. Teams with strong performance norms and high cohesiveness are high performing.

Moving to the Next Stage

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. 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.

what is the storming stage of team development

Retrospective meetings are a great opportunity for everyone to work together to make improvements. It’s also important for you to touch base individually with employees in one-on-one meetings. They might share things they don’t feel comfortable sharing in a group setting. So, how do you create a culture of honesty and transparency? If you’re open, honest, and transparent with your team, it gives them permission to do the same.

Teams move through a series of four phases—from when they are formed to when their work is complete. During the forming stage, a the team discusses it purpose, defines and assigns tasks, establishes timelines, and begins forming personal relationships. The often-contentious storming stage is the period when team members clarify their goals and the strategy for achieving them.

How to recognize this stage

Team Tasks during the Storming stage of development call for the team to refocus on its goals, perhaps breaking larger goals down into smaller, achievable steps. The team may need to develop both task-related skills and group process and conflict management skills. A redefinition of the team’s goals, roles and tasks stages of team development team building can help team members past the frustration or confusion they experience during the Storming stage. During the Storming stage, team members may argue or become critical of the team’s original mission or goals. When the clouds part, the group moves from the storming stage to the norming stage of group development.

The 5 Stages of Team Development DEFINED [+ Expert Advice]

Tuckman’s original work simply described the way he had observed groups evolve, whether they were conscious of it or not. In the real world, teams are often forming and changing, and each time that happens, they can move to a different Tuckman Stage. A group might be happily Norming or Performing, but a new member might force them back into Storming, or a team member may miss meetings causing the team to fall back into Storming.

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In the norming stage, consensus develops around who the leader or leaders are, and individual member’s roles. Interpersonal differences begin to be resolved, and a sense of cohesion and unity emerges. Team performance increases during this stage as members learn to cooperate and begin to focus on team goals. However, the harmony is precarious, and if disagreements re-emerge the team can slide back into storming. In order to move on to the next stage, embolden high-performing team members to step into leadership roles, while taking care to actively involve all team members. To avoid power struggles, this is the time to invest in team building and conflict resolution exercises.

Forming— In the forming stage, team members are getting to know each other and trying to figure out how they can work together. This is a time of uncertainty and confusion, as team members are trying to determine their roles within the team. What could happen in a group that does not ever experience the storming stage?

Practical Tips To Master the Adjourning Stage

People work differently; they have different work styles, different ways of collaborating, and different ideas about the way things should (or shouldn’t) be done. It takes time for teams to get on the same page about how to work well together. And until they do, the team dynamics can be a bit challenging. The forming phase is when the team is initially coming together. Group members are excited to get started, but aren’t super clear on what the team will be doing, how they’ll work together, or how they as an individual fit into the big picture. Remote teams A simple platform that tells you how remote teams really feel, and fosters action-oriented 1-on-1 conversations.