What Is Team Development And Its 5 Stages

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Most high-performing teams go through five stages of team development. Teachers will come to this guide at different stages in the school creating process. Perhaps you’re curious what designing and running a teacher-powered school entails and want more information. Maybe you already have a team in place and are looking for strategies and advice for moving ahead. Perhaps you already run a teacher-powered school and are seeking ways to strengthen your team, modify your processes, or manage internal changes in leadership. Teams in this stage have the ability to recognize weaknesses and strengthen them.

A fifth stage was later added by Tuckman about ten years later, which is called adjourning. It is believed that these stages are universal to all teams despite the group’s members, purpose, goal, culture, location, demographics and so on. The team development process consists of five stages. Experts occasionally refer to the process as Tuckman’s stages of group development, the group development process, or the five stages of team building.

When all the emotional issues have been solved, the team is ready for the next stage. Promote communication among team members by encouraging them to ask lots of questions and work together. Let’s have a closer look at the 5 stages of group development.

People start to resolve their differences, appreciate colleagues’ strengths, and gain true trust of one another. Trust is something that all teams continuously build and improve on. Yet too often we take trust for granted when we have it, or we run for the hills and dig in our heels the second we feel we don’t have it with a co-worker.

stages of team growth

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.

Norms are only effective in controlling behaviors when they are accepted by team members. 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.

Stages Of Team Development

Write down every idea that is offered, no matter how ridiculous it sounds. Some of the greatest entrepreneurs and inventors have had failed companies and ill-conceived ideas. When members disagree about something, listen to each side. For example, each person wants to reach the end goal. Rules may not sound fun, but they clear up confusion.

  • Well-developed teaching skills for training and encouraging the team to work autonomously, at the latter stages of group development.
  • Groups without rules are disjointed, prone to conflict and inefficient.
  • Teams collectively work to solve problems and get the job done without the need for outside supervision or unnecessary conflict.
  • Of course, you can only move on to this more pleasant stage if you’ve addressed and answered all the vital questions from the previous, Storming Stage.
  • She also holds three degrees including communications, business, educational leadership/technology.

Everyone is contributing and working as a cohesive unit. The next time you’re doubting the trust between you and a co-worker, remember that it’s natural. All teams go through it, and it’s worth the investment to strengthen trusted relationships.

Whether through training, group initiative, or innovative leadership, team learning is an action step that ensures healthy team development. Wise leaders use this time strategically to establish expectations around the culture of the team. Leaders https://globalcloudteam.com/ should involve everyone in the development of the group. Productivity is not a high priority at this stage, rather, the emphasis needs to be on forming a functional team. Teams cannot exist indefinitely if there is overarching goal to achieve.

Some call this stage ‘mourning’ to symbolize the sense of loss that some group members feel during this regressive stage of group development. The act of recognizing the completion of a goal and consciously moving on can be challenging for some. As the real work kicks in, the project may present both technical and interpersonal challenges. Individual work habits, leadership decisions, or lapses in communication can cause tension within a team. Annoyance, frustration, and anxiety commonly arise in response. This stage of team development is known as storming.

You respect them enough to listen, and to share your thoughts. Team members are on their best behavior, and hold their tongues. Connected autonomy makes for a happier workforce overall — and a more productive team. Sitting around the conference table checking each other out, noticing who’s late, who’s still on their phone, who the chatty one is and who’s a little on the quiet side.

What Are The 5 Stages Of Group Development?

Information flows seamlessly and is uninhibited due to the sense of security members feel in the norming stage. The norming stage of team development is the calm after the storm. In this stage of team development, team members fall into a rhythm as a cohesive taskforce. The skills of each member are validated and utilized to execute the necessary tasks. While conflict may still arise in this stage, it no longer spirals into dysfunction. The team can handle conflict and proceed with the project successfully.

The group development definition dates back to 1965 when psychologist Bruce Tuckman proposed a group development theory. It is successfully applied by many companies and is widely used, even today. The FiveStages of Team Development were developed by psychologist Bruce Tuckman in 1965. These five stages advance as a team works together, but especially when a team brings awareness to their dynamic.

You could even compare it to going out on a first date. Team building days don’t feel lame or awkward, and team meetings are focused on results and productivity. Issues are discussed in a mature and empathetic way, and solutions to challenges are found.


Just remember — manage the cultureor it manages you. It takes time — and effort — for people to get to know each other, and there’s some truth to the saying the familiarity breeds contempt. Even food choices and the smell of someone’s cologne, or a preference for ninjas over pirates, can trigger aggravation and keep tensions simmering. Roles and processes expand to include giving support to and learning more about teacher-powered school community. Initially, there was no stage 5 of team development. It was added later to encompass the end of the project.

stages of team growth

The norming stage is a time where group members become a cohesive unit. A sense of community is established, and the group remains focused on the group’s purpose and goal. At its peak, the group moves into the fourth stage of group development, known as the performing stage. The performing stage is marked by high productivity. Competence in all members is seen, allowing for a high level of autonomy in decision making. Problem solving, experimentation and testing possible solutions are high as group members are focused on task completion and achievement.

The forming stage represents a time where the group is just starting to come together and is characterized with anxiety and uncertainty. Members are cautious with their behavior, which is driven by the desire to be accepted by all members stages of team growth of the group. Some believe this cautious behavior prevents the group from getting any real work done. However, the focus for group members during the forming stage is to become familiar with each other and their purpose, not on work.

Stage #5

Teams collectively work to solve problems and get the job done without the need for outside supervision or unnecessary conflict. The team is focused, effective, and achieves extraordinary results. There is a collaborative environment in which team members use their resources most efficiently. Team members are autonomous, competent decision makers. Team leaders focus more on strategy as well as communicating successes and areas of opportunity because the team takes on the responsibility of decision making. The second stage of group development is known as the storming stage.

Your team has made it through the stormy weather of the previous stage. As team members get to know each other, they are ready to move to the next stage. Build trust among team members, by advocating honesty, transparency, and accountability. Address and resolve conflicts and problems as soon as they arise. In addition to handling conflicts, you’ll need to determine workflows, follow them, and constantly tweak and improve them as you go along.


Speaking of ends, the Adjourning Stage is the bittersweet cherry on the top of each team and project, and it will happen whether you want it or not. It’s a great opportunity to reflect on your accomplishments and think about what you learned. In the end, they sell the garden, and go their separate ways, capping off the project as a complete success in every way.

Final Words On Stages Of Group Development

They understand the needs of the group, know its objectives, and how to achieve them. These stages are steps in the team building process and are similar to team building best practices. Engaging team development benefits the team in a number of ways.

Why Do Some Sources Call Team Building A Four Stage Process?

The Storming stage is when tension, conflict, and competition arise. Team members are likely to compete with each other to have their voices heard and their ideas accepted, so progress may be slow. In the norming stage of group development, members are getting to know one another. After watching this lesson, you should be able to list and summarize Bruce Tuckman’s five stages of group development.

Team members feel insecure as they don’t know what to expect from their upcoming work. They need some time 🕒 to emotionally overcome the loss of the close relations they had with the team during their experience, and get acquainted with their new teammates. Although some conflicts may arise at this stage, the team successfully resolves them without any participation from the leader.

Group members designate roles and delegate responsibilities with help from team leaders. The adjourning or mourning stage of team development is where the group parts ways. The project has reached its natural end, and group members acknowledge that while the group has found success, it is time for the team to split and move on to new challenges. The mourning stage paves the way for more growth and learning and new opportunities. This final part of the team building process grants teammates closure and provides a chance to reflect on the experience.

Building A Strong Team: The Stages Of Team Development

Whether you are leading your entire company or a smaller project group, you have a huge influence onteam developmentand performance. It’s almost like being Captain America to The Avengers or Steve Jobs to Apple. In the performing stage, members are confident, motivated and familiar enough with the project and their team that they can operate without supervision.

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