Tuckman’s five stages of team development make up the foundation of team management. Most experts agree that every team must progress through the five stages of team development to acquire the essential leadership and support skills needed for success. A business is only as good as its team, and these recognizable stages are what transform a group of unique individuals into a collaborative group with common goals.
5 Stages Of Team Development
Learn about each stage of team development and how implementing team building activities into this model can help create a highly productive team.
The first stage takes place when team members meet for the first time. During introductions, team members share information about their background, professional experience, and interests. Using these details, individuals are able to form first impressions about one another. During the Forming stage, teams can also discuss specific project goals, individual roles, timelines, and lay down any ground rules.
While in the Forming stage, everyone is polite and positive. Team members are often excited about the project at hand and eager to get to know their new colleagues. As team member roles and responsibilities are not yet clear, this is a great time for natural leaders to step up to the plate to take a dominant role. Team building activities are an excellent way for new colleagues to get to know one another better in a laidback way.
Once the team has established friendly relationships, they can move into the Storming stage. During this stage, team members are encouraged to push boundaries and compete for status. Unfortunately, the Storming stage often results in conflicts which make it the stage where many teams fail. Team members may disagree about what direction to take a project. Certain personalities or personal flaws may also clash.
It is important to understand that disagreements are normal during the Storming stage and that conflicts should not stop you from pursuing healthy team development. It can be helpful to engage in team building activities to help grow your group closer together by allowing team members to work towards a common goal. During a team building event, team members can use their own unique skills to find a solution to a problem.
As a team moves into the Norming stage, they start to work more effectively as a team. At this point, a team is no longer focused on individual goals but is in search of the most productive ways to work together while taking each other’s unique views into account. By this stage, a team has established ground rules and is better equipped to work together without conflict.
During the Norming stage, team members understand how to resolve their differences and are able to appreciate each other’s strengths. As this stage often focuses on socialization, team building activities are a popular option for many businesses. Through a team building event, team members can develop a stronger commitment to team development and learn to work as a cohesive unit.
Teams that are able to reach the Performing stage are able to achieve their goals with little to no conflict. They have processes in place to support their objectives and have established leaders to take a dominating role. Leaders use their status to delegate work based on each team member’s skills which helps streamline performance. Each member is confident in their abilities and is able to operate without supervision.
While most teams strive to make it to the Performing stage, not all make it. To progress to this level, team members must be highly motivated and possess strong problem-solving skills which help minimize delays. As a team can potentially revert back to another stage at any point, it is a good idea to maintain good team development practices. Team building activities promote team development while also making it fun.
The final stage of the team development process occurs at the end of a project when team members disband. Adjourning is sometimes referred to as ‘mourning’ as the team members whom have grown together over a period of time now must move on to new projects. This is also the time for teams to celebrate the success of their project and say goodbye to one another.
As project teams usually only exist for a set period of time, the Adjourning stage tends to occur at one point or another. Even if a project was not successful, this stage can be useful for team members to evaluate what went wrong and to use the situation as a lesson for future projects. At the end of the Adjourning stage, team members wish each other good luck as they pursue new endeavors.
Schedule Your Team Building Activity
Team building activities can be invaluable at all stages of team development. For more information about team building or to schedule an event for your team, contact Bond’s Escape Room.