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The 4 Stages of Team Development Team Building for High Performance

The 4 Stages of Team Development Team Building for High Performance

Team effectiveness is enhanced by a team’s commitment to reflection and on-going evaluation. In addition to evaluating accomplishments in terms of meeting specific goals, for teams to be high-performing it is essential for them to understand their development as a team. This often brings out many negative aspects of group behavior.

4 stages of team formation

In the Performing stage of team development, members feel satisfaction in the team’s progress. They share insights into personal and group process and are aware of their own (and each other’s) strengths and weaknesses. Members feel attached to the team as something “greater than the sum of its parts” and feel satisfaction in the team’s effectiveness.

Engineering Management

They feel confident and comfortable when approaching you with concerns and questions. You recognize this isn’t any one team member’s fault, but you want to make it right. The last thing you want to experience is team members who de-value one another or collectively fall behind. It’s up to you to provide clarity, ensure team alignment and employee motivation.

4 stages of team formation

Check out our e-book, The Art of The One-on-One Meeting, to see a detailed guide on how you can build a culture of trust with regular one-on-ones. At the final stage of team development, prioritize knowledge sharing. Encourage employees to share what they learned during their time as members of the team and discuss what can be improved in the future.

The forming stage

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. Keep reminding the team to check in with each other regularly in person or via instant chat, but stay out of their way.

Anticipating team efficiency can be tough, but understanding the needs of the individuals that comprise the teams allow leaders to keep their team at peak performance. This stage is where teams “start to hit their stride” and begin developing strong relationships with one another. The strengths of each team member is being recognized and socializing outside of the normal team setting may begin. Open dialogues with constructive criticism are beginning and trust is being gained among all members. As this stage progresses the individuals will become more committed to the team’s goals. It’s not uncommon for teams to fall from the Norming stage back into the Storming stage if the team changes, goals change or a major unanticipated occurrence happens.

Navigating the “norming” stage

It refers to the degree of attraction people feel toward the team and their motivation to remain members. This is why it is important to understand the fact that teams develop and mature over a period of time. Knowing where your team is currently in can help you understand how to work through your current challenges and get to the next stage. Each stage of team development presents its own special challenges to a group of people striving to work together successfully by forming a well-oiled team. By knowing where they’re at, the team and the organization can take specific actions at each stage of team development to support the team’s success in accomplishing the team mission. Leaders of a team in the Forming stage have a lot of responsibility in helping the team come together.

4 stages of team formation

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.

Team Development Never Stops

First days at new jobs, first assignments with new bosses—the forming stage of teamwork is all about first meetings and first impressions. It might not be possible to plan an in-person meet-up, especially if your projects have short turnaround times. Create an agenda and establish a document to track ideas and comments during the meeting. Share a link to these meeting notes afterwards so that everyone has access and can review it later.

4 stages of team formation

During these meetings, review the last weeks or months to celebrate team wins and take an honest look at what didn’t go to plan. Pinpoint where the group can advance moving forward and create a plan of action to help employees improve in the future. Tensions may run high at stage two, so leaders can guide their team through this time by scheduling exciting team-building activities that foster understanding.

Learning Outcomes

In the in the third stage, norming, co-ordinators are still needed to facilitate the groups decisions. The addition of some implementers to the team is also a good idea to make plans for progress and team development. Finally, a resource investigators is needed to go outside of team and look at competition. In the first two stages of Tuckman’s model (storming and forming), shapers are a good addition to the team because they provide a good balance and ensure that discussion are turned into results.

  • As you add people to the team, pay attention to what qualities and skills you’ll need to complete the project.
  • Using either a top-down or bottom-up approach, a team comes together to address a problem and propose solutions.
  • Frequent 1–1s allow managers to help their team members cope with issues and find a place in the team.
  • As it turns out, people approach tasks differently depending on the quality of their relationships with their co-workers.
  • LRI provides its clients with an exclusive Client Member Area, which contains tools used by LRI consultants to strengthen teams and organizations.

Assign action items based on employee strengths and incorporate opportunities to give feedback into your team’s day-to-day experience. Groups who were brought together to complete specific 4 stages of team formation projects may begin to think about their next steps in stage five. Individuals may experience sadness or a sense of loss as their journey as a member of the team comes to an end.

Signs and questions to look out for in the norming stage

“With group norms and roles established, group members focus on achieving common goals, often reaching an unexpectedly high level of success.”[4] By this time, they are motivated and knowledgeable. 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.

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