Forming a team takes time, and members often go through recognizable stages as they change from being a collection of strangers to a united group with common goals. When you understand it, you can help your new team become effective more quickly. In this article and in the video, below, we'll look at how you can use this model to build a highly productive team. Psychologist Bruce Tuckman first came up with the memorable phrase "forming, storming, norming, and performing" in his article, " Developmental Sequence in Small Groups. Later, he added a fifth stage, "adjourning" which is sometimes known as "mourning".
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I found it fascinating - because I instantly saw that this model applies to ANY groups - and relationships too. Learning about this model can help you at work AND at home, and it can also help you help your clients - whatever kind of coach you are. I'm also curious what you think about this model applying to friends and romantic relationships - let me know by commenting below.
In , Bruce Tuckman presented a paper outlining this model saying that four phases were necessary for a team to develop and grow: 1 Forming, 2 Storming, 3 Norming and 4 Performing. Tuckman's Group Development Model has since formed the basis of many future models.
Tuckman's model helps managers, leaders and team members:. Forming is where people get to know each other, and the task at hand. What are everyone's strengths, weaknesses?
When can they be relied upon and when not? What quirks do our fellow team members have? What are we working towards and why? At this stage people avoid conflict and "play nice" with each other because they want to be accepted into the group. The group is learning about the objectives and goals - getting a feel for the work that must be done together.
People tend to focus on practical details - who, what, when and where and work reasonably independently at this stage - while they learn where they and everyone else fits into the team. The leadership may be quite directive at this stage. As people begin to feel safer, they will push the boundaries set up by the team in the forming stage - and conflicts may begin to erupt.
Clashes occur due to different personalities and differences in working styles - the ways things get done. Resentments and irritations that were buried in the last stage erupt and negatively effect the team's performance.
The team must come together to decide how to move forwards and solve the inevitable challenges and misunderstandings that come out as the task progresses. People are competing, but beginning to open up to each other too.
As they do this, the team begins to establish how they will work together going forwards. The leader needs to make sure that team members are clear on their responsibilities and tasks to keep the team on track.
Individual coaching may be needed if team members are difficult or not completing their tasks. In addition, the leader may need to step into a more directive role to ensure the team remains professional - and resolves conflict in a non-judgemental and healthy way. Team members may sabotage individual and group goals through unresolved conflicts. People must learn it is safe to share differing opinions and ideas - which can be a very challenging stage for people who are conflict averse.
So, it's great when more experienced team members model good team behaviour. Norming is where the plan comes together. During this stage the team agrees the plan, timelines and who should contribute what to the plan according to their skills. Some team members may need to let go of 'their' ideas and make sacrifices for the greater good of the team. Also, team members begin to clearly see others' strengths and accept their weaknesses. The team will also be developing trust - helping each other and asking for help , and many teams are socialising with each other by this stage.
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 leader should be asking questions coaching and not directing.
The leader can also organize socialising events to encourage healthy team-bonding that moves a group into the performing stage. There is a pressure to move forwards and get things done and leaders must remain open to new ideas and ensure that conflicts are aired and dealt with. In short, the team is now performing.
The team is stable and the goals are clear. The team has developed processes that work for the team and people follow them. Performing teams get the job done with minimal supervision and conflict. People are motivated and competently get the job done. Conflicts are no longer threatening and different perspectives are seen as valuable. When a team fully meets this stage, it is a high-performing team. It empowers the team if the leader steps back once a team is performing.
The high performing team is largely autonomous and a good leader will now be delegating, developing team members and maintaining a visioning role. Bruce Tuckman teamed up with Mary Ann Jensen in to add a fifth stage - adjourning, sometimes called mourning.
This stage is about wrapping up the task and the team breaking up. It may be a difficult stage for some team members who enjoy the routine, or who have made good friendships. A leader can help by working with team members to plan their futures and what comes next.
Are you or your client a team member? Use this model to establish where you are in the development stages, and decide what steps you personally want to take to help the team move towards performing. Are you or your client in a leadership role? Share the model and ask team members to identify where they think they are in this Group Development Model, and what they need to do to move through the stages and perform better. Taking this a step further, a regular team review of this model can help team members to see the progress being made, and reward them for it.
Hopefully the cycle is shorter the next time around, especially if team members are aware. A good leader watches for these shifts in order to step in and support the team back to higher levels of group functioning. Tuckman's Team and Group Development Model empowers us to understand what stage we are at - and identify actions that we can take to help our team perform better.
In addition, as well as taking specific action we can also decide to simply model great behaviour for others. Warmly, Emma-Louise. Hi Emmie, hmmmmm. I'm not aware of any negatives of this theory.
This Tuckman's Team and Group Model just says these are phases a team tends to cycle through. 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!
Warmly, Emma-Louise Reply. What are some negatives of this groupwork theory? Leave a Reply Cancel Reply Your email address will not be published. X Close. View Our Cookie Statement Accept.
Tuckman's Team and Group Development Model | by Emma-Louise Elsey
He added a fifth stage, Adjourning, in the s. The Forming Storming Norming Performing theory is an elegant and helpful explanation of team development and behaviour US spelling: behavior. Tuckman's model explains that as the team develops maturity and ability, relationships establish, and the leader changes leadership style. Beginning with a directing style, moving through coaching, then participating, finishing delegating and almost detached. At this point the team may produce a successor leader and the previous leader can move on to develop a new team.
Bruce W. Tuckman – forming, storming norming and performing in groups
This model was first developed by Bruce Tuckman in It is one of the more known team development theories and has formed the basis of many further ideas since its conception. Tuckman's theory focuses on the way in which a team tackles a task from the initial formation of the team through to the completion of the project. Tuckman later added a fifth phase; Adjourning and Transforming to cover the finishing of a task.