5 Stages of Team Development: Forming Teams

By now, team members have figured out a strategy for working together. The internal competitions prevalent at the storming stage have been rooted out. Each team member’s roles and responsibilities are also clear. As a result, the team works more efficiently because members understand what’s expected of them and know how to share their ideas and seek feedback. The imposing personalities in the team will become evident at this stage, especially when members start to share ideas openly.

norming stage of team development

When conflicts are resolved, it can improve existing processes and bond members together. When members disagree about something, listen to each side. If everyone in your group thinks five stages of team development principles of management and acts the same, then why do you have a group? The benefit of working in a team is that you have access to diverse experiences, skills, and opinions that aren’t possible alone.

Moving on to the Next Stage

Project management duties can be shared, with different members taking responsibilities for each stage of the project. In the Forming stage, group members are focused on getting to know each other, learning more about what will be involved, and avoiding conflict. At this stage, the group is highly dependent on the leader to answer their questions about the group’s purpose and provide direction. Team members can prevent or solve problems in the team’s process or in the team’s progress.

The team is able to churn out high-quality work at a fast pace. This is the stage where you will see the team taking ownership of their work and truly becoming a cohesive unit. This can be done by setting goals that the team needs to work together to achieve, or by giving the team positive feedback when they work well together. Allow the team members to brainstorm and come up with ideas on their own.

norming stage of team development

Individual work habits, leadership decisions, or lapses in communication can cause tension within a team. Annoyance, frustration, and anxiety commonly arise in response. Because a work team is a common arrangement within today’s business organizations, managers need to understand group behavior and team concepts. Managers must also decide on team size and member roles to gain the maximum contribution from all members. Generally, when organizations form teams, these organizations have specific projects or goals in mind. A team is simply a tool that accomplishes a project or goal.

Throwing a group of talented people together doesn’t mean that they will form a great team. Hoping that your company or project will be a success won’t make it happen. But, it is important to remember that most teams experience conflict. If you are the leader, remind members that disagreements are normal. But, because this stage focuses more on the people than on the work, your team probably won’t be very productive yet.

What are the key elements of a successful team charter and how do you create one with your team?

For example, success can be anything from higher customer acquisition to a positive shift in the metrics they’re tracking. When your marketing team is remote, you can hire the most talented people regardless of where they’re located geographically. But you have to find a way to make sure team members are aligned and on the same page. By following these tips, you can help your team move through the five stages of team development and achieve success. This stage occurs when the team’s work is completed, and the team dissolves. The members may go their separate ways, or they may stay together to form a new team.

norming stage of team development

At this stage, you can free some time and focus on yourself. You must also ask your team for any personal development goals they have and then discuss with them the available opportunities. The forming stage is all about getting to know everyone on the team. In case your team is a remote one, you can try virtual onboarding and online video calls. When going from the forming stage to storming, you can ask your team to have personal goals so they can see where they want to start. In the 4th stage of team development, members perform to their full potential and work hard.

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The team members share this recognition and respect individuals for their strengths allowing every team member to be a leader in their field and right because they have matured. Once the goal is achieved, the group moves on to the adjourning stage, where the team members go their separate ways and prepare for life without each other. In this second stage of group development, individuals begin to explore the boundaries of the group, and questions regarding everything about the project are often asked and challenged. As differences arise, there is more strife and a need for leadership in this stage. Additionally, the group members may challenge the group’s purpose and the motives or capabilities of others and will even go as far as to challenge the leadership of the group.

norming stage of team development

Get your team to bond further with face-to-face or virtual team-building exercises. These social connections are especially important right now, as more of us work from home. Creating a closing celebration that acknowledges the contributions of individuals and the accomplishments of the team, and that formally ends this team’s existence. Ralph Kison April 2, 2019 Very good summary highlighting the phases and emotional and personal impact to be aware of. Storming can still occur – especially when there is change or stress on the team, but in general the team is beginning to work effectively.

The “NORMING” Stage of Group Mentoring

Moving beyond initial hurdles, teammates acknowledge the common goal and focus on making significant progress. Stage two of five is considered the most critical but also the most difficult to go through. It can be riddled with conflict as the individual personalities and work styles clash within the team.

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  • In addition to focusing on the scope of the team’s purpose and how to approach it, individuals in the formation stage are also gathering information and impressions about each other.
  • There is support for experimentation in solving problems and an emphasis on achievement.
  • Even if your group has two or three leaders, you can’t alwaysmonitor your team.
  • At this stage, you should be seeing where the team members currently stand, what are the shortcomings, and where they seem to be disagreeing with each other.

The team members are now competent, autonomous and able to handle the decision-making process without supervision. Dissent is expected and allowed as long as it is channelled through means acceptable to the team. 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.

How Can Leaders Help at the Norming Stage?

We all perceive things in our own unique way based on past experience and what we know now. The key to moving through this stage is to make things as simple as possible. Hopefully, your team’s purpose or desired outcome is understood by this point.

Stage 1: Forming

This stage usually occupies a lot of time as the process of getting to know one another cannot be postponed and must occur naturally. Group members in this stage may be anxious or excited to begin, and they will often refer to the group leader for any sort of direction. The norming stage of group development is important because it is the stage at which harmony in the group is developed, and synergy is created. It is important because it allows the group to shift from a focus on the individuals to the goal of the team. Norms are only effective in controlling behaviors when they are accepted by team members.

It’s not a hard and fast – they go through Stage 1, then Stage 2. It’s more to be aware of these phases and use them to inform your leadership or coaching (and for self-management too!). This is when the team has developed processes that work for the team and people follow them. A leader is essential at this stage to help the team figure out objectives and team roles and responsibilities. Notice what stage their team is at, helping team members to process and acknowledge the inevitable conflicts and changes during group development.

Navigating the “forming” stage

Once you’re aware of their flaws, you either learn to embrace them or the relationship will end quickly. The team has just been introduced and everyone is overly polite and pleasant. At the start, most are excited to start something new and to get to know the other team members. Though we’re unable to respond directly, your feedback helps us improve this experience for everyone. One thing I’ve found helpful is to add incentives and affirmation of top contributors in their areas of strength. It is important to talk about things that worked this week and things that did not go so well.

This is when the team comes together and starts to get to know each other. 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. The initial forming stage is the process of putting the structure of the team together. Team members feel ambiguous and conflict is avoided at all costs due to the need to be accepted into the group. Team members look to a group leader for direction and guidance, usually CORAL project guides.

For those that don’t, make sure you listen to them and what suggestions they have to offer. Additionally, you can discuss with them other available career opportunities that they may feel confident about. Following up through meetings face to face or online both are important at this stage. Begin by figuring out at which stage your team might currently be. Only then you’ll know what are some steps you can take to help them grow to their full potential.

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