In this article, we discuss the different stages of team development and how leaders can guide their team through those stages to increase collaboration. We’ll cover why team building is important and how you can harness the five stages of team building to create an effective and efficient team. Check out our course on Building Teams That Work for an in-depth discussion of this and other vital topics. In this stage, all team members take responsibility and have the ambition to work for the success of the team’s goals. They start tolerating the whims and fancies of the other team members. They accept others as they are and make an effort to move on.

Literally, the three key terms in this stage are teamwork, performance, and goal achievement. The reason is overall goals are accomplished by a team through teamwork. In this article, let’s have a look at these stages along with some team building activities that you can try in each stage.

As teams move from the storming stage, team members will begin to appreciate each other’s strengths and respect you as a leader. This Stage of Team Building involves the agreement of how to divide required work and what role each team member is to play in the accomplishment of the team’s goals. The norming stage usually involves a lot of commitment to the team goals as your progress further. It’s also known as the transforming process and happens after the team accomplishes what it set out to do.

The team development cycle starts over more often than you might think. It just means that when change happens, humans need time to adapt. Sounds great in theory, but putting it into practice can feel daunting.

When choosing your teammates, you should analyze your current team makeup and identify any gaps. Consider what you want your team to achieve and which abilities will help the team reach those goals. The scavenger hunt is best for directing your team to work towards achieving a common goal.

A team member must not only understand expectations and positions, but must also follow through on those duties. For a team to function effectively and maintain trust, each teammate must own individual contributions. When teammates fulfill promises and deliver consistent quality work, the team can reach goals without hitting slowdowns or snags. For example, rules about assigning roles, individual behavior, etc.

  • The team development stages also acquaint members with each other’s talents and roles and prepare them for future leadership positions.
  • That’s particularly for new teams because members need to get acquainted with each other first before they start to work towards the common goal.
  • Accomplishments in team process or progress are measured and celebrated.
  • Team members may be reluctant to challenge the opinions and ideas of others, leading to poor decision-making and an absence of creative thinking.
  • There may be regret as the team ends, so a ceremonial acknowledgement of the work and success of the team can be helpful.
  • Double down on building personal connections among teammates.

Get best practices and sound advice on how to create understanding and work together better. As you progress through the team building process, you should periodically measure your team’s growth. At this point, you may decide to revisit your baseline and assess which teamwork competencies your group mastered, and which could use more work. Feel free to reinforce any teamwork skills you feel your team could still enhance. Organizations are not groups of individuals working solo, but rather teams collaborating towards a shared goal.

Create an environment where team members feel safe to take risks and be vulnerable with one another. Hold team members accountable for their actions and decisions and provide them with the support and resources they need to succeed. Teams may not have effective leadership, leading to a lack of direction and guidance. While it’s tempting to attribute an idea to one person, its full importance results from being taken up, reinterpreted, and applied by the whole team.

Forming stage

The team leader may also find that key skills are missing, or that people aren’t committed to being on the team. The ed2go blog offers career insights and advice from subject matter experts. Learn about in-demand workplace skills, explore new careers, or find the professional development or career training course perfect for your next big move. By understanding these phases, you’ll be able to calibrate where your team is and how to take it to the next phase. Whether in a team at work, in your neighborhood, or in a nonprofit organization, you can use these skills to create a better team.

stages of team building

This is a change management exercise that can reduce resistance to change. After a few seconds, ask them to cross their arms the other way. Find a popular restaurant in your location to have a surprise dinner with your teams.

“Participants are willing to allow other people to give their action meaning by building on it later” (Sawyer, 2007, p. 15). For example, the seven-member executive team at Whole Foods spends time together outside of work. Its members frequently socialize and even take group vacations.

Renowned psychologist Bruce Tuckman created an easily-understood model in 1965. It illustrates how teams in different fields undergo five similar stages of group development. Understanding the stages of team development enables you to build successful and high-performing teams. The next stage of group development is the storming stage.

How to navigate organizational change

Trust, openness, honesty, cooperation, confrontation, and reviewing results become the norm. The points above are helpful because they enable us to distinguish between people working together in groups and those forming effective teams. This final phase of team building is the stage at which teams are actually working on the project itself or the everyday functioning of a team.

stages of team building

Hopefully, your team’s purpose or desired outcome is understood by this point. Now it’s time to make sure everyone understands the incremental milestones on the way to your goal, and what their role is in helping the team get there. Clarity as to what success looks like at each milestone will give your team a much-needed confidence boost. To foster accountability on your team, you should aim to create a safe environment where employees are not afraid to own up to mistakes and admit shortcomings.

Frustration, annoyance, and anxiety tend to arise as a result. Team members need to learn to use conflict positively so that it doesn’t slow or hinder their progress. Whether you’re building a new team or working on a specific project with cross-functional partners, it’s important to establish your team’s mission early on.

Bruce Tuckman and Jensen suggested five different stages of group development in 1977. These stages are forming, storming, norming, performing, and adjourning. Typically, every team goes through these stages in order to become highly effective and successful. The adjourning or mourning stage of team development is where the group parts ways. The project has reached its natural end, and group members acknowledge that while the group has found success, it is time for the team to split and move on to new challenges. The mourning stage paves the way for more growth and learning and new opportunities.

Team Building Exercises for the Performing Stage

Even the most high-performing teams will revert to earlier stages in certain circumstances. Many long-standing teams go through these cycles many times as they react to changing circumstances. For example, a change in leadership may cause the team to revert to storming as the new people challenge the existing norms and dynamics of the team. Keep reminding the team to check in with each other regularly in person or via instant chat, but stay out of their way. They will waste time and lose their focus if they have to answer frequent, unscheduled questions about what they’re working on.

stages of team building

Team building takes time and practice, but can improve your team’s dynamics. Team activities alone may not fix teams with incompatible skill levels and dispositions, so better to select the right members for your team from the get go. Here your employees might need feedback regarding how team goals are achieved.

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Some of your employees may have always acted alone, and may need time to get used to depending on other group members. In the forming stage, employees are likely to have issues with connecting with others and getting involved in a group. So, conducting icebreakers and team bonding activities is desirable. is a leading authority on team building and engagement at work. They decide how communication should take place between meetings. Chris emphasizes the importance of attendance and that each member’s input is vital.

stages of team building

In the norming stage, consensus develops around who the leader or leaders are, and individual member’s roles. Interpersonal differences begin to be resolved, and a sense of cohesion and unity emerges. Team performance increases during this stage as members learn to cooperate and begin to focus on team goals. However, the harmony is precarious, and if disagreements re-emerge the team can slide back into storming. Team Tasks during the Storming stage of development call for the team to refocus on its goals, perhaps breaking larger goals down into smaller, achievable steps.

Although members understand each other, conflicts may still arise at the norming stage of team development. Nonetheless, the conflicts can’t spiral into dysfunction because the team has gelled. Members have a more profound commitment to each other and the project’s completion, so it’s easier to handle conflicts. In the norming stage, the team falls into a rhythm and starts to work as a cohesive task force.

Here, there’s cohesion, trust, and understanding among team members. The team functions at peak efficiency, and little or no oversight are needed. At the performing stage, it’s easy to accomplish tasks since members are in tandem and understand the process.

Navigating the “forming” stage

The forming stage involves a period of orientation and getting acquainted. Uncertainty is high during this stage, and people are looking for leadership and authority. A member who asserts authority or is knowledgeable may be looked to take control. Team members are asking such questions as “What does the team offer me? ” Most interactions are social as members get to know each other. This is the stage when things begin to settle down as your team finds their groove.