It brought them great relief to know this was a natural process and that it was not that they were deficient in some way as a team. Talking about this among themselves seemed to be helping them pull together to grow even stronger to reach new and greater heights. Often the team leader thinks the team is a stage ahead of where others on the team think they are. Also, by having this discussion with your team, you can then discuss together what you need to do to move to the next stage. You’ll get better ideas and more investment in making them work.

4 stages of group development

Denying and avoiding dealing with the issues lengthens this stage. Group norms have been accepted, and people feel comfortable to exchange ideas and challenge the status quo without fear of misplaced judgement or rejection. For teams who can problem solve and find a way to complement each other, the smooth road of understanding and acceptance of the team dynamic is what’s around the corner. Interpersonal pain points are all kinds of awkward but they are not the norm. That comes next, if teams are able to communicate productively and find a way to work together. Performing is the culmination of all the hard work your team has put in to date.

Stage 4: Performing At Peak Productivity

Schedule a video call for the presentations and then open up the virtual floor for discussions about the client and the product. Ways to earn Learn how to get started as an independent professional.Find work for your skills Explore the kind of work available in your field. All teams have their values, whether they are overtly stated and defined or less formal. Ideally, core values are not just empty phrases but shared qualities that infuse our work and our relationships with team members. Before we start working towards establishing a team, we need to have a clear idea of what it is supposed to achieve.

According to group development theory, team dynamics play a big part in pushing people past average and into exceptional success. To develop an effective hybrid team and keep members focused and moving forward, today’s team leaders should recognize how group dynamics play out in this new work environment. Fortunately, with a little ingenuity helped along by technology, teams can cohesively work together to achieve a common goal.

Often, the adjourning stage brings up bittersweet feelings, as team members go about the business of concluding the group’s functions. They start to focus on the details of completing any deliverables, finalizing documentation, and meeting reporting requirements. They might start looking toward their next assignments, leaving little energy or enthusiasm for finishing the tasks at hand. Taking talented individuals and turning them into a high-performance team is always a challenge. Add in the realities of today’s work environment, and the issues of creating and coaching a collaborative and trusting team take on new dimensions.

  • When they disagree, the players are now able to work through it and come to an agreement without delaying the progress of the team.
  • Other team members then ask questions to try and determine which of the three facts are truthful.
  • This growth phenomenon helps build courage as well as interpersonal relationship strength.
  • Teams in a performing stage can revert to an earlier stage through contentment, lack of motivation, or deterioration of team relationships.
  • Ignoring them could let minor conflicts fester into major problems.

Each person is operating from their personal vantage point, focused on the “what’s in it for me” reasons for joining the team. During the norming stage, you really want to give the team a wide berth as the members find their way to the performing stage. It’s not unusual for some members of the group to propel the team back, at least temporarily, into storming. If you want to engage in a team activity, consider hosting a virtual happy hour or some other lighthearted excuse for freelance creatives and full-time team members to meet for reasons other than work. For example, let’s say you are heading up a group in your marketing department dedicated to the launch of a food product for a new client. About half of the members of your creative team are full-time workers who know each other well and have been with the company for years.

Importance Of Effective Listening Skills

The moderator then addresses the situation as objectively as possible, allowing team members to confirm the assessment or provide their own perspective. The moderator asks additional questions to clarify diverging perspectives. Following this, all team members are given the opportunity to provide their view of the situation and offer potential solutions. The team discusses the potential solutions and agrees on the best path forward.

4 stages of group development

Rather, they develop through clearly defined stages, eventually transitioning from strangers with singular ambitions to a dynamic group of collaborators with a like-minded focus. Collaborative teams reach their full realization in the performing stage. This is the “gravy” stage, where teams have overcome interpersonal challenges, found their areas of strength, and fine-tuned the processes to perform at their finest and most productive. Instead of being given specific assignments top-down, the team is encouraged to collectively decide on how to move forward.

What Are The Stages Of Group Development?

The next time you’re doubting the trust between you and a co-worker, remember that it’s natural. All teams go through it, and it’s worth the investment to strengthen trusted relationships. Here, you’re able to ask one another for help and provide constructive feedback.

A team needs to be an answer to an existing question or a challenge. We must first understand what we wish to achieve, and then formulate how a team will achieve it. A few years back, I was in this exact scenario with a co-worker. We thought we trusted each other, but then we started disagreeing in meeting after meeting, and we’d both walk away discouraged and frustrated. In reality, what you have with a co-worker at this stage is respect, not trust.

4 stages of group development

To recognize the team’s achievements in order to provide incentive and motivation for continued excellence. This is the Shangri-la, the place we all strive to reach, when you can predict and anticipate your co-workers’ actions and reactions. It’s not perfection–rather, it’s when hard work results in achievement of your team’s goal. Learn about their communication style, how they like to give and receive feedback, how they like to work within a team. In that moment, the key to building lasting trust is to recognize that you don’t currently have trust built up yet.

Closure Adjourning Stage

It’s still possible to have trust backslide–if that happens, go ahead and address it head-on. I actually schedule regular meetings with many of my co-workers, once a quarter or so, to proactively build relationships outside of our day-to-day activities. Older, well-established teams can also cycle back through the stages as their circumstances change. Group leadership is very important, but the facilitator can step back a little and let group members take the initiative and move forward together.

4 stages of group development

Once a team reaches its productive pinnacle, there is nowhere to go but down. Teams in a performing stage can revert to an earlier stage through contentment, lack of motivation, or deterioration of team relationships. The goal is not just to reach the performing stage, but to stay there for an indefinite period of time.

Stage 4: Performing Activities

Once you have your own foundation with being a leader, I think that as a leader you can transition and understand the behavior of others that may be on your team. When acknowledging others 4 stages of group development on the team, I think that it is important to identify strengths and weaknesses of others and the team. As you can see, I have outlined what I believe makes a great and effective leader.

The norming stage represents the quiet after the storm in the process of team development. Once a team successfully overcomes internal conflict and adopts mechanisms of tackling it in the future, team members develop shared standards of interaction and collaboration. The team itself grows more cohesive, inching closer towards full collaborative performance. A leader needs to be very purposeful in moving a team through these stages. Developing skills and commitments to accountability, communication, resolving conflict and building trust are critical components of “how” a team will work together to achieve is vision or purpose.

In practice, this means providing a platform that ensures that everyone has all the relevant information and enables two-way communication necessary for healthy collaboration. Pumble team chat is a communication platform that enables transparent and efficient team communication. Once we define the unique individual team roles, we need to figure out how they will collaborate as a team. It can be tempting to avoid conflict, but doing so doesn’t help team building.


I’ve found that three exercises help the team understand each other, communicate better and appreciate each other. I use a combination of Myers-Briggs, Strength Finder and a values exercise that I developed for this aspect of team building. Models are simply a way of organizing information in order to see patterns. A model of team development cannot accurately depict the journey of all teams.

For example, if you’re working cross-functionally, the individuals from one team are assigned the role of reporting back to their team what they’re working on. Another individual may be responsible for managing status updates. This is also the time in which teams can celebrate everything they have achieved together. Take the time to reflect on your achievements and remind your team why they’re doing what they do. This is also a great opportunity to recognize and praise the talents of specific team members. You often look at your co-worker and think, « I thought I trusted you, but now I’m not so sure. »

The individual strengths each member brings establishes a sense of teamwork, as everybody plays a part. If you notice a few team members not participating, the easiest thing to do is to prompt them for their thoughts and ideas. You can help the team break through the storming stage by encouraging members to refocus on goals. Try breaking large goals down into smaller, more manageable tasks. Then, work with the team to redefine roles and help them flex or develop their task-related, group-management, and conflict-management skills. All that polite, deferential behavior that dominated the forming stage starts to fall by the wayside in the storming stage.

As the new kids on the block, the temporary creatives may feel insecure about how their work is being evaluated by the team. It’s important for team leaders and management to also model this behavior. Once teams are able to overcome individual differences, they can fully embrace the diversity of individual strengths that’s at the core of high-performing collaborative teams. Team leaders need to seek out, encourage, and welcome fresh perspectives and outside-the-box thinking. This enables teams to fully tap into their potential and evolve the structure to suit everyone’s strengths and professional styles. Alongside the necessary organizational framework, building teamwork simultaneously takes place in informal ways.

Finally you are able to begin sharing responsibility with other team members. You are participating in the discussions instead of leading them all, and the team begins to solve problems jointly. 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.

The quality of teamwork and collaboration is greatly determined by interpersonal relationships. In their forming stage, teams are essentially groups of individuals who are just beginning to learn about one another. It is important to provide a platform for relationships to develop. Recruitment of the initial team extends not only to team members but also to team leaders.

Be sure to validate great teamwork early and often, even if it’s even more often now that your team is on top of its game. In other words, when team dynamics are good, productivity is really good. Most interestingly, performance doesn’t mean there won’t be conflict. Overall, in order to get to real productivity, teams need to move past the small talk and be ready to engage on a more real level, potential conflict and all. First days at new jobs, first assignments with new bosses — the forming stage of teamwork is all about first meetings and first impressions. Depending on the personalities and experiences of its members, a team may be able to absorb new elements with less friction.

Collaborative organizations should not insist on rigid structures. Instead, they should monitor and review the course of the collaboration, measure team performance, and, if needed, modify the structure to enable teams to collaborate more efficiently. This includes reassessing individual roles and responsibilities, the overall team structure, as well as the processes that order the collaboration.

After the initial period of feeling out, team members begin to find their place and, unavoidably, the first conflicts arise. Organizations can further encourage bonding by devising collaborative tasks that bring team members closer together or organizing various team-building activities. Effective collaboration and high-performing teamwork require a strong organizational foundation, a dedication to quality collaboration practices, and a bit of nudging in the right direction. 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. Provide information and suggest alternative solutions to roadblocks.