Navigating through the five stages of group development isn't a walk in the park. 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.

By taking these steps, leaders can help their teams progress through the stages of group development and achieve their goals. It’s important to remember that not all teams will linearly go through these stages, and it’s okay for teams to revisit earlier stages as needed. The key is to remain flexible and adaptive in your approach to team management, always keeping the team’s needs and objectives in mind. 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.

5 stages of team development

As the workload becomes smaller, it’s common for team members to be taken off the assignment and delegated to a new project. The team members also usually debrief and discuss what went well and what could be improved on for projects in the future. 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.

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

A crucial part of any team development process is to address the challenges such teams face. It can be communication issues, lack of trust, and internal conflicts. Managers and leaders build cohesive teams capable of working together by dealing with these issues. These changes also mean that managers must reevaluate how they enable team development. While remote teams may be just as productive as a team sharing an office space, it can be more difficult to facilitate cohesion and build rapport between team members.

  • This model, also called the Tuckman ladder, was developed by psychologist Bruce Tuckman in his 1965 essay “Developmental sequence in small groups”.
  • In 1965, Tuckman introduced the five stages of team development theory named “Tuckman’s Stages”.
  • This strategy will foster a supportive and inclusive environment.
  • These items are used to deliver advertising that is more relevant to you and your interests.
  • Failure to address conflicts may result in long-term problems.

Disagreements occur because each team member has a unique viewpoint on how to address the difficulties that the entire team faces. They may start having disagreements about how to do a task or express their concerns if they think someone is not doing their fair share of work. As the group becomes more acquainted, positions and duties will emerge. Team members must understand their roles and begin building relationships with others. Fully understanding everyone’s role and responsibilities allows the team to solve problems quickly.

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SolutionsMeeting agenda softwareCollaborate on meeting agendas, assign action items, and ask for meeting feedback. In this case, the adjourning stage can be used to reflect on how well the team has done and what skills the team members will take with them on their future endeavours. Even if you will no longer be managing this team, it is wise to make sure to end things on a strong note. As a team leader, it is your job to make sure everyone feels seen and heard. Project scheduling is a critical and crucial part of project management and planning.

Hybrid Work PanelInsights from leaders at Loom, Upwork, Oyster, Because Mondays, and Fellow on how to embrace Hybrid Work. PodcastSupermanagers is for managers, like you, who want to be extraordinary at the fine craft of management. Agenda TemplatesKeep all of your meetings running smoothly with these pre-built meeting agenda templates. Google MeetUse Fellow’s Google Meet extension to collaborate on meeting notes and record action items, right within your video calls.

5 stages of team development

There’s excitement in the air and everyone is ready to roll up their sleeves, and get started on the project. Usually, group dynamics and roles have yet to be established, a team leader will typically emerge and take charge and direct the individual members. As a team leader, it is your job to make sure everyone is seen and heard. The success of your team development efforts depends on the tools you use. You need to invest in tools that enhance team development meetings, workshops, and training.

Why is Team Development Important?

The forming stage of team development is the first step in team bonding. In this initial stage, group members gather and learn more about each other. Though some people might refer to the forming stage as “the honeymoon stage” of team building, it more closely resembles a first date. Teammates meet, discover group member strengths and weaknesses, explore the basics of the project, and form group goals. Group members designate roles and delegate responsibilities with help from team leaders.

The skills of each member are fully optimized, supervision is almost never needed, and members feel a strong sense of trust in one another. Norms result from the interaction of team members during the development process. Initially, during the forming and storming stages, norms focus on expectations for attendance and commitment. 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.

5 stages of team development

This gives them insight into the bigger goal but also breaks down the timeline into smaller increments. Team players have already got used to each other’s styles and willingly cooperate, feeling comfortable in their groups. Conflicts are easier to handle, as people exchange feedback and ask for help. From a profitability point of view, it can also help to track the time spent on your projects.

Stage One of Team Development: Forming Stage

For your team to be as successful and as high-performing as possible, it’s important that all five stages are utilized to their fullest potential. You may feel like you can skip the first or the last, but each stage has a purpose. Sales LeadersFellow helps Sales leaders run productive 1-on-1s, team meetings, forecasting calls, and coaching sessions. It is important for the team leader to set aside time specifically for the adjourning stage. It is very unlikely that the team will adjourn naturally without structure or guidance.

5 stages of team development

Team members begin to see and appreciate the contribution and strengths of their team members during the norming stage. Once the team members become familiar with each other, it is almost similar to being in a relationship. You may find the person is flawless and perfect at the beginning.

Recognize and celebrate the team’s achievements, to make sure your work as a team ends on a positive note. This is important considering that at least some of you may work together in the future once again. Build trust among team members, by advocating honesty, transparency, and accountability. Stagnation is always worse than conflict — instead of maintaining a facade of politeness, it’s crucial that you identify your problems, analyze them, AND talk about them. They’re also sad that they won’t get to see each other on a regular basis, as they’ve grown quite close. And, what’s most important, they trust that everyone involved will do their share of the work.

tips on how to facilitate proper group development

Or, if you’re working on a more long-term project, your team could meet for lunch on a regular basis to ensure that relationships remain strong. By stage three, everything should have settled down nicely, and your team members should know how to work with one another effectively. This view makes it easy to spot any bottlenecks and the drag-and-drop functionality means you can swiftly move tasks around to adjust your team’s workload.

Team learning is a behavioral process of seeking, gathering, discussing, and implementing methods of team success. Whether through training, group initiative, or innovative leadership, team learning is an action step that ensures healthy team development. His theory, which is referred to as Tuckman’s Stages, is centered around his research on the dynamics of teams and team building.

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They also know who to reach out to for specific information or advice. However, having positive shared experiences will make it easier if you work with some of these people again. If they have reached the performing stage then there could be a sense of mourning if they have grown close. Another important strategy for helping your team make it through the stages is all about recognition. Acknowledge and celebrate individual and collective achievements and accomplishments as much as possible.

Simplilearn is a cutting-edge workplace training service that provides just that. At Simplilearn, our PMP Certification Training Coursein emerging technologies is transforming our economy with valuable skills that last. Our blended learning approach drives learner engagement and the industry’s highest completion stages of team development rates. If powerful superhero and entrepreneur teams have taught us anything, it is that working with others can increase your strength and success. Even if your group has two or three leaders, you can't alwaysmonitor your team. You can't look over their shoulders and make sure that everyone is doing their work.

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Finally, they are adjourning to reflect on their strengths and weaknesses as a team. Have productive meetings your team can be proud of with a clear meeting agenda for every event in your calendar. If group members are able to evolve to stage four, their capacity, range, and depth of personal relations expand to true interdependence. In this stage, people can work independently, in subgroups, or as a total unit with equal competencies.


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