Manager’s Guide To Navigating The Four Stages Of Team Development

Many church leaders just teach it to the group leaders and don’t get this vital information deep down into the membership of groups for dialog and where true teamwork is formed. You know, I never knew who originally came up with the four stages. Jim Egli taught me these stages in the early 90’s and TOUCH has been using them our group leader training and member strategic planning days for many years. All groups must go through the initial four stages in order to become productive and deliver results. Company Company It started with innovation and engineering services. Learn more about our story here, and how we can work together.

You outline the work, as well as key milestones, deliverables and objectives. Every team moves through the four stages of development, and may slip back a stage or two as new challenges or opportunities arise. Being resilient, laying aside ego and working together will allow the team to meet the challenges and emerge stronger than when they started.

Managers need to support each team member and ensure they can contribute and their peers are not blocking them. Frequent 1–1s allow managers to help their team members what are the four stages of a developing team? cope with issues and find a place in the team. Here’s the thing, the line between certain stages can get blurred since team members evolve at different times.

As a result, you’ll establish yourself as a leader of a team rooted in transparency and trust while you communicate clear expectations and team principles. If you reflect on them, they’ll tell you a cohesive story about their strengths, needs and performance. Tuckman’s model has stood the test of time because it remains highly relevant and beneficial. Since his work was published, it has been supported by additional peer-reviewed research. For permission requests and high resolution versions of the Phases of Team Development image, see below.

Scenario: Youre Leading Your Team Through The Performing Stage

This way, each employee knows they can trust you, and each other going forward. You recognize that your team is new, and want them to feel supported, motivated and psychologically safe. So, you host a meeting where your team can get to know one another, their work style, and the way they feel appreciated.

what are the four stages of a developing team?

When this happens, it’s important to take stock of what your team needs. Your team feels confident, excited and satisfied with their work. This is indicated through the project stage which is either completed or very nearly there. This gives them an opportunity to recognize their abilities as well as those of their teammates. Your team asks questions formulated in ways that are rooted in emotional intelligent practices.

Your team needs to communicate clearly and, rely on one another rather than turn on each other. This is a crucial point in team development where leaders can pinpoint bottlenecks, areas of improvement and couple them with team strengths to build forward momentum. While originally things had been going according to plan, roadblocks crop up during this stage.

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During this stage, the team is very dependent on the leader. It’s important that you take the lead in developing agendas, gathering information and solving problems. Try to involve as many members as you can in conversations and decisions, but know that the ultimate responsibility lies with you. Furthermore, at this stage, the team members don’t know whether they will be able to work well together and if they will fit in. They behave nicely, comply with instructions, and treat each other like strangers. To help the team gel, the managers need to encourage collaboration and cooperation between team members and ensure everyone gets a chance to work with each of their colleagues to build relationships.

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  • Some people must learn to be more assertive, while others must learn to hold back and listen more.
  • This can decrease motivation and effort by drawing attention away from tasks.
  • While the team forms, the role of the leader is to give clear direction, set out the goals and objectives, and help the team members understand exactly what the leader expects them to do.

Thriving in today’s marketplace frequently depends on making a transformation to become more agile. Those successful in the transition enjoy faster delivery speed and ROI, higher satisfaction, continuous improvement, and additional benefits. Covers the update, bibliography, permission requests, and high-resolution downloadable files of the English version of the visual.

How the group will work, communicate, allocate tasks, share ideas, hold people accountable, handle the plurality of viewpoints, make decisions and address conflict are all unknown at this point. It’s inevitable that each group member will bring his own personality and past experiences to the table, and each will have his own ideas about how the group should work. In the Forming stage, group members are focused on getting to know each other, learning more about what will be involved, and avoiding conflict.

Scenario: Youre Leading Your Team Through The Forming Stage

In the Performing stage, the team begins to work individually and together as needed to make progress on planned tasks. The leader’s role in this stage of team building should be less involved if the team has been given clear direction. In moving forward, the team members may realize responsibilities, processes, and/or structures need to be adjusted on the fly, especially in a startup. If the team is focused on their planned tasks, these changes should occur smoothly. However, some teams may not reach this level of interdependence and flexibility.

This way, you can prepare for conversations that build trust while supporting your team and leading through each team development stage. When your team learns more context about what’s required of them in this stage, they’ll feel more confident. This is a concept that psychologist Bruce Tuckman came up with to properly understand the progress of various teams and the development of key contributors. Understand your people’s needs and make team management your greatest strength.

what are the four stages of a developing team?

At this stage, the team goals may already be clear, although its members may have different views on the best ways to achieve them. Managers should help the team consider everyone’s point of view and allow each member to contribute to relevant team discussions. Reaching consensus on each issue that requires a debate is crucial — compromises won’t help in the long term. Frequent and regular team retrospectives are great for discussing and resolving issues at this stage. This is the perfect team development stage to learn about how your team overcomes obstacles and bonds through shared experiences.


Industries Industries From medical devices to test systems, learn how innovation-centric services have helped organizations from various sectors in identifying risks—and addressing them. Managers need to recognise each achievement the team makes at this stage, no matter how small or large. The team must know that despite all difficulties, they are still delivering and making progress. The organisational environment the new team exists in is also unfamiliar to its members. The managers must introduce the team to its stakeholders and explain its dependencies and its place in the organisation. After all, their ability to overcome obstacles and achieve their goals is a reflection of a management job well done.

The norming stage is more harmonious since teams understand why it’s important to ask for help, and how to come to you with questions when they need guidance. You book 1-on-1 meetings with team members to learn about each of their experiences. As you do this, you recognize clear and consistent points with each team member and the benefits of hosting a team retrospective. To properly and clearly identify these in group form, we use the 4 stages of team development. He released an updated version of the visual on January 4, 2021.

Team Management Skills: The Core Skills Needed To Manage Your Team

They likely will need strong guidance from a group leader to define the project and provide clear direction regarding the team roles and responsibilities. Without this early guidance, the team may never get off the ground. So, you’ve hired new employees or put together a well-rounded team to work on a particular project. Groups do not automatically become a team just because you desire it.

It’s important to step back a little during this stage and allow the team to succeed without you where possible. Your contribution becomes more focused on your specialized knowledge and expertise than your ability to hold the team together. Seek first to understand and encourage everyone on the team to take the same approach.

Group members may compete with each other for areas of responsibility and/or specific tasks. 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.

Correcting Performance And Behavior

At this stage, the group is highly dependent on the leader to answer their questions about the group’s purpose and provide direction. Do you know where your team falls in the natural progression of team development? In 1965, Bruce Tuckman researched group development and identified four distinct stages that all teams must move through in order to become successful. Over the years, I have worked with many teams and have found theses stages to be very predictable. Because storming can be contentious, members who are averse to conflicts may find it unpleasant or even painful. This can decrease motivation and effort by drawing attention away from tasks.

Managers Guide To Navigating The Four Stages Of Team Development

Leadership belongs to everyone on the team, and the team owns its results. Older, well-established teams can also cycle back through the stages as their circumstances change. At the Performing Stage, managers can expect the team to start delivering predictable results and meeting deadlines.

This article features the new version of the Phases of Team Development illustration along with an overview of the characteristics and key strategies for each phase. Read on for details including information on permission requests and downloadable high-resolution versions of the visual. Most teams go through the storming stage in some form or another because discord is inevitable.

According to Tuckman, all phases—Forming, Storming, Norming, Performing and Adjourning—are necessary for the team to grow, tackle problems, find solutions, plan work, and deliver results. This article provides a brief overview of the model, including descriptions and strategies for each phase. About 10 years after Tuckman created his original 4-stage model, he then added a fifth stage, which is Adjourning. More often in the corporate world, cross-functional teams will be formed for a project and then disperse at the end of the project. However, before moving on to the next project, it can be beneficial for the leader to overview with the team their successes and challenges , as well as celebrating their accomplishment. Performing is the stage we all want to live and work in, but understanding, acknowledging and appreciating the importance of all the stages is the key to getting there.

Traits of Adjourning include a shift to process orientation, sadness, and recognition of team and individual efforts. Strategies for this phase include recognizing change, providing an opportunity for summative team evaluations, and providing an opportunity for acknowledgments. In the context of group process and practice, adjourning occurs when the project ends and the team is dissolved. The members may meet for a final celebration to mark the success of the project.

They need to help them find a way to work together and support struggling team members. Finally, they should ensure the team can resolve internal conflicts and disagreements. During the Norming stage, the team gradually optimises how it works. If the team doesn’t have some form of the continuous improvement process, such improvements happen organically, but if it does — they progress faster. Furthermore, team members may encounter unexpected difficulties, feel lost and overwhelmed, and disillusioned and disappointed with their new team.

The cost of the Banisher is within the profit target, and production has assured everyone that they can produce the required number of Banisher canisters. Rina, the leader of the Bug Banisher Team, comes to Mr. Marcus thirty days after the initial meeting. She has a laundry list of issues to discuss, and none of them is pleasant. Nicole from marketing has scheduled focus group sessions, but the final prototype of the Banisher will not be completed in time for the first session. At this point Rina just wants to get the project moving again. Successfully moving through the storming stage means that a team has clarified its purpose and its strategy for achieving its goals.

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