There can also be conflict about the goals and objectives of the project . For those group members who have previously worked together, formerly unresolved issues may even arise. Some conflict can be good as it can help work through issues, as well as determine whether or not the group will be able to work together. Ultimately, the group needs to gain clarity by working through its major issues, which allows them to move forward into the next stage.

These are teams that make decisions quickly and effectively and are highly motivated to get things done. Disagreements are encouraged yet managed with trust and respect. This ensures they are holding each other, and the team as a whole, to the highest possible standard.

stages of team forming

Groups are so in-sync during the performing stage that it seems to happen naturally. The most effective and high-functioning teams are cultivated. In the performing stage, members are confident, motivated and familiar enough with the project and their team that they can operate without supervision.


Most teams get to the adjourning stage at some point but that’s not always the case. Some teams get created for projects with endpoints, while others are ongoing. However, even teams built for permanent projects can still undergo the adjourning process due to restructuring and re-allocation. The stage can cause uncertainty, especially among team members who are unsure about their subsequent roles. Thus, leaders should be supportive and help members transition smoothly into the new roles. As strong personalities emerge, team leaders should ensure these individuals don’t inadvertently dominate the rest of the team and the project’s outcomes.

  • Traits of Storming include resistance, lack of participation, conflict related to differences of feelings and opinions, competition, high emotions, and starting to move towards group norms.
  • Even if everyone isn’t actually getting along during the forming stage, they are almost certainly pretending to do so.
  • The most effective and high-functioning teams are cultivated.
  • Do you know where your team falls in the natural progression of team development?
  • These people are frustrated and weary, but as soon as they realize that the stage they’re in is natural and expected, they are able to navigate their way out and into the next stage.
  • Teammates meet, discover group member strengths and weaknesses, explore the basics of the project, and form group goals.

Team development plays a critical role in your organization’s success. When the five stages of team development get successfully implemented, a sense of partnership and community is fostered. It’s best to set clear expectations at every stage so that the team has seamless alignment when proceeding to the next. Challenges have a minimal impact on team performance and morale because members have strategies for resolving them without compromising project timelines and progress. A team’s performance is at peak capacity at this stage because everyone has learned to identify and leverage each other’s strengths for the common good.

Performing Stage

A major advantage a team has over an individual is its diversity of resources, knowledge, and ideas. In many ways there are no secrets to implementing effective performance management. Performance Management is a process and a process which if implemented … Forming – when the team meets and starts to work together for the first time. In order to handle the many changes facing the workforce, leaders must strive to be as adaptable as possible. If 2020 taught us anything, it’s to expect the unexpected. is a leading authority on team building and engagement at work. In this stage, the team comes together for the first time, and members get to know each other. The forming stage is often slow and casual since it primarily involves members getting acquainted. Trust is built, which plays a critical role in the team’s success. Similarly, establish ground rules and make sure they’re followed. Fellow for EnterpriseSupport company leaders with Fellow’s uniform meeting templates, collaborative one-on-one meetings, and feedback tools.

stages of team forming

Typical traits of Adjourning include a shift to process orientation, sadness, recognition of team and individual efforts, and disbanding. Her work has been published in “Entrepreneur,” “Complete Woman” and “Toastmaster,” among many other trade and professional publications. She has a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from the University of Wisconsin and a Master of Arts in organizational management from the University of Phoenix. Team members accept each other’s differences and communicate openly, sharing ideas and giving feedback. There is a growing sense of belonging amongst team members and a desire to maintain the group.

Why Are The 5 Stages Of Group Development Important?

Your participation should be much more focused on how the team is tackling problems rather than solving the problems for them. You will still raise issues, ask questions, and challenge approaches, but more to validate the team’s conclusion than to drive it. Leadership belongs to everyone on the team, and the team owns its results. As a leader, it’s important to know where your team is and how you can help them move through to the next stage of development. We can say that this is a stage where team members still view themselves as individuals rather than part of the team.

stages of team forming

This stage is when management evaluates if this team worked well together and should be considered for future work (Schermerhorn & Uhl-Bien, 2014). In the West Coast Transit case, the group is in the storming stage as there seems to be a lot of infighting. This is clear as Lea Jing is the only person that was prepared at the first meeting while Jon Mahoney and Katarina Tanney suggest that the project is unattainable. Tanney at one point reminds the group that she has some outside issues going on and is unable to work overtime. After more infighting, Tanney leaves the meeting accusing Pete Denning of not respecting her.

This was originally the last stage in Tuckman’s model, but it really represents what your team should look like at the height of productivity. The storming stage of group development is one of the most critical stages, but it’s also the most dreaded. This stage is marked with turmoil and interpersonal conflict as group dynamics are established and members compete for their ideas to be heard. Of the five stages of group development, the forming stage requires the most meetings.

A team comprises individuals brought together to fulfill a common goal. Everyone plays a critical role in meeting the goal since each has a unique skill set. Each of these five stages clearly represents a step that teams go through, from start to finish, to work on a project as they complete all of the necessary steps and tasks for it to be a success. Whether tasked with a short-term project or united for decades, every team must eventually disband. Tuckman circled back to his original stages in the late 1970s and added adjourning to his model. Others have called it mourning, because precise rhyming is the best.

Project teams encounter all stages of this group formation theory, frequently referred to as Forming, Storming, Norming, Performing, and Adjourning/Transforming. All teams will move through these stages, from start to finish of any task. Teams assembled for specific project or for a finite length of time go through a fifth stage, called adjourning , when the team breaks up.

The 5 Stages Of Team Development Defined

It can be riddled with conflict as the individual personalities and work styles clash within the team. It’s also common for team performance to dip a bit in the storming stage as members can sometimes disagree on goals, strategy, responsibilities, and roles. Also, keep an eye out for subgroups or cliques that can begin to form during this stage. The storming stage is the most difficult and critical stage to pass through.

stages of team forming

As a result, the team starts to operate more effectively and gains momentum towards realizing the shared goals. Members become more comfortable with each other and understand the significance of utilizing their diverse perspectives to find practical solutions to any challenges. Stage two of five is considered the most critical but also the most difficult to go through.

No question is stupid, no idea is too silly to bring up, and no one is too “senior” to ask for help. At the end of the day, you’re all working towards a common goal, to get there, you need a foundation built on listening to what the others on the team have to say. On-Demand DemosEmpower your team to build a culture of productive meetings with these on-demand product tutorials.

Some team members are naturally more aggressive than others and may try to establish their superiority over others or specific areas of their responsibilities. They may even cross the boundaries of a constructive disagreement to simply prove their point. This is the first stage in which team members get to know each other. When people from different backgrounds, cultures, experiences, ambitions and expectations come together, there are inadvertent clashes.

Fourth Stage: Performing

It is a period marked by conflict and competition as individual personalities emerge. Team performance may actually decrease in this stage because energy is put into unproductive activities. Members may disagree on team goals, and subgroups and cliques may form around strong personalities or areas of agreement. To get through this stage, members must work to overcome obstacles, to accept individual differences, and to work through conflicting ideas on team tasks and goals. Failure to address conflicts may result in long-term problems.

Members need more guidance, since they’re less likely to take initiative and partake in any decision-making. By guiding your team through the stages of group development, you also reduce bottlenecks and other hold-ups that might be caused by poor group dynamics. WorkPatterns provides One on Ones, Team Collaboration, Feedback, Recognition & Goals — all in one place. With WorkPatterns, you can guide team development remotely with intentional goal setting, online collaboration, and continuous feedback. As talented as we may be at our jobs, there is always room for improvement. The next project can always be better than the last, and we can always be better than we were yesterday.

It’s important to ask a lot of questions during this stage. Seek first to understand and encourage everyone on the team to take the same approach. Act as a sounding board and allow any hidden agendas to surface. four stages of group development Provide information and suggest alternative solutions to roadblocks. It’s important to demonstrate the skills you want the team to develop. You are still responsible for the team’s health and results.

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Some teams, especially those who want to avoid conflict, will try to skip the storming stage. However, this stage is an important part of the process and must be moved through. Trying to avoid the discomfort will make it more difficult to achieve optimal team performance in the long run. The development of Tuckman’s team development theories has paved the way for other viewpoints around team development over the last 60 years.