Using the Stages of Team Development MIT Human Resources

When you can identify which development phase your teams are in, it’s much easier to provide exactly the direction they need so they feel more focused and connected. The group development stages aren’t as linear as they appear on paper. After all, it’s not like the group shows up to the office one day and decides unanimously to peacefully progress to the norming stage. Sometimes your group may revert back to behavior from the storming stage. And sometimes the storming stage seems to last for much longer than is necessary.

The emphasis is on wrapping up final tasks and documenting the effort and results. As the work load is diminished, individual members may be reassigned to other teams, and the team disbands. There may be regret as the team ends, so a ceremonial acknowledgement of the work and success of the team can be helpful.


The official (or unofficial) team leader takes a back seat much more than in the previous stages. As a result, the individual team members are given their chance to shine. In fact, each phase plays a critical role in the team’s progress — whether in short, medium, or long-term goals.

During this stage, team members will be cautious with their behavior as they try to assimilate with the group. The real personalities of the team won’t be revealed until later; in the beginning, getting along with the rest of the team members is of primary importance. That arrangement, with all its frustrations and triumphs, resembles the way teams function in business. In the worst cases, business teams can be as dysfunctional as miscreant teenagers, but in the best cases, they can go on to produce some of the most revolutionary ideas and world-changing products. They feel confident and comfortable when approaching you with concerns and questions. You approach your team to learn about their bottlenecks, roadblocks and concerns.

Storming (Conflict/Power Gathering)

Many studies have identified teamwork as an essential tool for high quality work and safe patient care.(17,18) The teams that work together are more effective and innovative. The participation level of the team members has greater emphasis on quality and support for innovation. Hospital research also shows working in team lowers level of stress.(15) The health care has changed enormously in past 20 years.

Keeping visual guidelines throughout the process is vital for maintaining the integrity of your team and avoiding conflict and confusion. Since Lucidchart is a cloud-based platform, you can easily update the progress of your project as it changes so everyone stays on the same page. As a team leader, it’s your job to help the group navigate through these insecurities and emotions and prepare for the next group formation and leadership successor. No matter what, it’s important to celebrate the team’s achievements and give them the opportunity to say good-bye to each other. This stage can be difficult for some, but members are encouraged to take what they learn from each group they are part of to aid future groups in the progression towards the performing stage.

Stage 2: Storming

In our example, the marketing team reached an agreement and restructured the roles of its members during the norming phase of group development. Team members remain happy and loyal towards to group’s function, and they are quickly approaching the completion of the group’s goal. The team is free of conflict, members trust each other, and productivity is at an all-time high. Despite initial struggles within the group, the marketing team successfully completes their goal two weeks ahead of schedule.

  • Choose a project management software that lets you plan the entire project and assign deadlines and responsibilities so everyone can see what tasks need to be accomplished.
  • The danger here is that members may be so focused on preventing conflict that they are reluctant to share controversial ideas.
  • The ideal is that they will not feel that they are being judged, and will therefore share their opinions and views.
  • As a manager, you’re now familiar with the 5 stages of group development, but your team likely isn’t.
  • In 1965, Bruce Tuckerman postulated the 4 stages of group development when building a team.
  • The leader of team should focus on Job enrichment (the work itself) as a job satisfaction strategy when money and hygiene factors cannot be increased or no longer motivate a staff member.

Such questions need to be answered so that the group can move further on to the next stage. The main objective of group development is to develop a group that is able to perform the given tasks. In such a group, there is no feeling of “I” everyone is interdependent on each other and one’s actions affect the performance of the whole team.

Training for a Team

Tolerance of each team member and their differences should be emphasized; without tolerance and patience the team will fail. This phase can become destructive to the team and will lower motivation if allowed to get out of control. Some teams will never develop past this stage; however, disagreements within the team can make members stronger, more versatile, and able to work more effectively together.

the four stages of group development in order are

Resistance is overcome in the third stage in which in-group feeling and cohesiveness develop, new standards evolve, and new roles are adopted. At first, people are led by their natural desire to be liked by others and accepted among their peers. After all, when you have to cooperate with someone for a longer period, it’s easier to do it if you get along well — and that’s what the stages of group development get right every single time. To sum up, here’s a quick overview of the behaviors, feelings, group needs, and leadership needs in the Adjourning Stage. To make the story more concrete, here’s a brief overview of the behaviors, feelings, group needs, and leadership needs in the Storming Stage.

Run efficient meetings, come to a decision, and get back to work

Storm, as the name indicates, the storming stage is the most difficult among the stages of group development. It is the stage where inter-conflicts and confrontation are at the highest level. The team development cycle starts over more often than you might think. While those people are still available when we need them, we usually don’t. Most teams today work according to the principles of the agile movement.

the four stages of group development in order are

That’s where Tuckman’s stages of group development yield immense results. Leaders need to be prepared to effectively coach team members by validating their concerns and providing tangible resolutions. They need to setup an effective process to resolve conflicts that will arise during this stage. If team members exercise understanding, tolerance, and patience, they have a great chance of making it through the most difficult stage. As with all the stages it is important to recognize that forming occurs whenever a new team is created.

Scenario: You’re leading your team through the storming stage

Motivators would increase job satisfaction while the hygiene factors would reduce job dissatisfaction. The leader of team should focus on Job enrichment (the work itself) as a job satisfaction strategy when money and hygiene factors cannot be increased or no longer motivate a staff member. Finally, the four stages of group development in order are the group attains the fourth stage in which interpersonal structure becomes the tool of task activities. Roles become flexible and functional, and group energy is channelled into the task. Structural issues have been resolved, and structure can now become supportive of task performance.