We have all worked in a group or team at some point in our careers. A team is brought together to achieve a common goal. The team needs to have members who have complementary skills and who are committed to a common purpose to achieve performance goals. However, teams don’t move immediately toward performing, but instead evolve over time. There are five stages of group and team development.
- Forming – Getting oriented and getting acquainted. High degree of uncertainty as members as they try to figure out who is in charge.
- Storming – Personalities start to emerge, along with roles and conflicts within the group.
- Norming – In the third stage conflicts are resolved, relationships developed, harmony and unity surfaces.
- Performing – The members concentrate on solving problems and completing the assigned task.
- Adjourning – Members prepare to disband. Some members may be reassigned, terminated from the group or the group is resolved.
Think about a time when you joined a new group . . . it could be at work, in a family setting or with a social group.
- Which of the five stages was the most challenging for the group to work through, and why?
- How might you have helped the group work through that stage differently based upon what you know now about the five stages of group and team development?