After the team evolves through the storming stage they begin to find agreement and consensus. Roles and responsibilities are more accepted and team member engagement increases. Social relationships begin to develop and the leader becomes more enabling while increasingly sharing authority. Using either a top-down or bottom-up approach, a team comes together to address a problem and propose solutions.

The roles and boundaries are typically unclear at the Storming stage. Team members may not like the work style of their new colleagues, challenge the emerging team norms and resist control. Managers must ensure that the team norms are discussed, accepted, and followed by each team member. Defining the team’s “working agreements” the four stages of team development can help here. This is the perfect team development stage to learn about how your team overcomes obstacles and bonds through shared experiences. Michael Parker is the President and CEO of the Lean Sigma Corporation, a management consulting firm and online six sigma training, certification and courseware provider.

Blog Actionable articles to help managers improve in their role. Best applied to situations where there is little time for group decision-making or where the leader is the most knowledgeable member of the group. You may discover some underlying issues that could affect morale. When a team focuses on the balance between all three, it can elevate performance. My last question is, “On the one-to-ten scale, how much fun did you and the team have? ” Again, without hesitation and typically with a big smile on their face, I usually get a “9” or higher.

  • You may discover some underlying issues that could affect morale.
  • Ground rules have to be established so that the team knows how to work together.
  • It’s an ideal state for any manager to witness their team’s growth and ask reflective questions.
  • The major drawback of the norming stage is that members may begin to fear the inevitable future breakup of the group; they may resist change of any sort.
  • The following table represents the team attitude on these three factors during each stage of development.
  • At this stage, the team goals may already be clear, although its members may have different views on the best ways to achieve them.

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. Many of us will have to manage a team at some point in our lives. At the Storming Stage, managers should ensure the team members agree on the team norms and keep following them.


A high-performing team will move through storming quickly because they have systems and trust in place to resolve differences and realign. Inevitably, because of the various individual goals and idiosyncrasies on your team, conflicts between athletes, coaches and staff are sure to arise. Individuals overtly and covertly vie for starting positions and leadership roles.

They’ll look to you for guidance and support, and when you establish a trusting two-way conversation, you’ll pave the way towards their professional growth. It’s crunch time and you check on your team’s progress. As you communicate with them you notice how confidently they articulate their ideas. You recognize that your team is new, and want them to feel supported, motivated and psychologically safe. So, you host a meeting where your team can get to know one another, their work style, and the way they feel appreciated. As a result, you’ll establish yourself as a leader of a team rooted in transparency and trust while you communicate clear expectations and team principles.

Team development is more apparent in the norming stage. This is because your team recognizes how they can trust you and each other in order to complete tasks, move towards their objectives and rely on each other for help. This is where it’s important to level with individual contributors and truly get to know what’s going on.

the four stages of team development

Storming starts when conflicts and competition emerge in the team. At this stage, the team goals may already be clear, although its members may have different views on the best ways to achieve them. Managers should help the team consider everyone’s point of view and allow each member to contribute to relevant team discussions.

Scenario: Youre Leading Your Team Through The Performing Stage

It is during this stage of development that people begin to experience a sense of group belonging and a feeling of relief as a result of resolving interpersonal conflicts. It’s important to note that while this model seems linear, teams can move back and forth between these phases. Each time a team experiences a change, the team is likely to move back into storming.

the four stages of team development

Much like a child growing up, every team progresses through certain developmental stages throughout the course of a season. Your role as a coach is to use the following stages of team development as a guide and facilitate your team’s natural progression through them. I continue to be amazed at the number of high-ranking leaders and business executives who have never seen this concept. Recognizing these stages of team development is critical at every level of an organization to increase teamwork and collaboration.

Scenario: Youre Leading Your Team Through The Storming Stage

Coaches talk a lot about peaking at the end of the season. This performing stage is exactly the “peaking” that coaches are trying to achieve when the team is jelling and working as a well-oiled machine. Forming activities include abstract discussions of the concepts and issues; some members will be impatient with these discussions. There is often difficulty in identifying some of the relevant problems because there is so much going on that members get distracted. The team often accomplishes little concerning its goals in this stage. A program manager needs to know this is perfectly normal.

They know and rely on each other’s strengths and can work together to achieve ambitious goals and meet deadlines. When this happens, it’s important to take stock of what your team needs. Your team feels confident, excited and satisfied with their work. This is indicated through the project stage which is either completed or very nearly there. Your team asks questions formulated in ways that are rooted in emotional intelligent practices. At this point, you recognize that your team has grown significantly and is capable of achieving big things together.

the four stages of team development

In this stage, most team members are positive and polite. ThoughtHub is a collection of knowledge to help you learn more about your favorite topics. Here you’ll find a variety of articles on subjects such as business, ministry, archaeology, communication, psychology, education and many more.

These differences are either perpetual open sores, or they’re swept under the carpet to fester. They then rear their ugly heads at the most disastrous times. Keeping these stages in mind, most of the problems that I see with teams are ones of conflict where teams get stuck in the storming stage. Remember, each athlete enters the season with a certain set of individual and team expectations. Naturally, conflict arises when the expectations and desires of various individuals come into contact.

Additionally, some teams make their way through the storming stage, but the unproductive norms that are established become their eventual downfall. The norms that are established may be totally counterproductive to your team’s success. This phase consists of leaving the team and completing the project. The first four stages of the team development model was proposed and developed by Bruce Tuckman in 1965. When your employees collaborate, communicate and function as a team, productivity and office happiness reach new heights.

Stages Of Team Development

There may be wide swings in members’ behavior based on emerging issues of competition and hostilities. Because of the discomfort generated during this stage, some members may remain completely silent while others attempt to dominate. How is it possible to have a very high fun factor when the stress and workload are also high? Inevitably, the fun factor is high, and when the fun factor is high, the team is more productive. In the storming stage, team members will begin to push back and test boundaries.

In the forming stage, there is high dependence on leadership for guidance. That means you’ll be critical to the development of your team during this stage. Group members are engaged in active acknowledgment of all members’ contributions, community building and maintenance, and solving of group issues. Members are willing to change their preconceived ideas or opinions on the basis of facts presented by other members, and they actively ask questions of one another. When members begin to know-and identify with-one another, the level of trust in their personal relations contributes to the development of group cohesion.

About us Officevibe helps your teammates be exactly who they are – because that’s them at their best. Discover all templates Made to solve challenges quickly and build stronger relationships with your team. Alignment Get your people in the same mindset with OKR goals and 1-on-1 meetings.

What Is Bad Diversity?

These types of conflicts serve no one, and ultimately, it is likely a customer that pays the price. Research has shown diversity alone is harmful for individuals and organisations. It has been linked to lower revenue, slower decision making, increased conflict, absenteeism and missed opportunities.

Stages Of Group Development

Performing requires that your team has constructively handled the conflict of the storming stage. The performing stage is the eventual goal of all teams. This stage typically follows successful norming and occurs only after effective standards are in place and firmly embraced by the team. The players perform as a cohesive unit that respects and trusts each other.

After all, their ability to overcome obstacles and achieve their goals is a reflection of a management job well done. What did you learn about yourself and one another so far? This gives them an opportunity to recognize their abilities as well as those of their teammates. Employees rely on each other, collaborate effectively and there’s a more lighthearted feel to the group.

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In business, the ground rules should be very simple and established up front. Ground rules have to be established so that the team knows how to work together. Next, the team moves into the storming phase, where people start to push against the boundaries established in the forming stage. Each stage of team development doesn’t necessarily take just as much time as the one that comes after it, nor the one before it. The norming stage is more harmonious since teams understand why it’s important to ask for help, and how to come to you with questions when they need guidance.

In this meeting, you take notes from each team member and apply these to your team principles. This way, each employee knows they can trust you, and each other going forward. It’s up to you to provide clarity, ensure team alignment and employee motivation.

The team’s level of conflict and antagonism drops, and people become more constructive, supportive, and understanding. These are the signs to identify the transition into this stage. Teams can go back and forth between these stages, especially as new challenges and demands arise during the season. Injuries, conflicts and losses can cause a team to regress from the norming stage back into the storming stage. As you probably realize, team building is a complex, ever-changing process that must be continually monitored and managed. Unfortunately, the performing stage is not a guaranteed aspect of your season.

Understand your people’s needs and make team management your greatest strength. Would you like to share this model with your team to get them to discuss what stage they are in? Better Teams offers a team activity using Tuckman’s Model, including slides if you’d like to use this with your team. Some teams are set up to accomplish a specific task and once it is done, the team will officially end. During this phase, the team has completed their work or decided not to continue working together.