4 Stages of Building High-Performing Team


At this stage, they are polite and try to find out how to fit into the team. The storming stage is critical because some teams may never progress beyond it. When members disagree or experience conflict within the group, their frustration increases and may cause them to lose motivation for the goal or project. They could completely resist each other’s ideas or even start to work against each other to the detriment of the overall project. Timothy Biggs suggested that an additional stage be added of “norming” after “forming” and renaming the traditional norming stage “re-norming”. Performing is the stage of team development when team members have productive relationships and are able to communicate and coordinate effectively and efficiently.

  • So, first of all, let’s just recognize that this is how this person works.
  • These situations can often be the cause of frustration, anxiety, and burnout for one or all members involved in the group (Mastering 5 Stages, n.d.).
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  • “With group norms and roles established, group members focus on achieving common goals, often reaching an unexpectedly high level of success.” By this time, they are motivated and knowledgeable.
  • There is little intervention needed from leadership at this stage, but it is important to continue providing support where needed to prevent the team from lapsing back into the storming stage.
  • Sounds great in theory, but putting it into practice can feel daunting.
  • This is when the team is at optimal performance and is able to accomplish tasks quickly because members flow through the process.

In teams, the internal characteristics are the people in the team and how they interact with each other. Participative leadership is one of the most effective styles and creates higher productivity, better contributions from group members, and increased group morale. The democratic leadership style consists of the leader sharing the decision-making abilities with group members by promoting the interests of the group members. Learn more about this leadership style and situations when it is effective. It’s about solidifying the lessons and wrapping up the experience.

Signs and questions to look out for in the forming stage

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phases of team building

True interdependence is the norm of this stage of group development. The team is flexible as individuals adapt to meet the needs of other team members. This is a highly productive stage both personally and professionally. You can also choose to end each meeting with insightful and constructive feedback that improves the group process. To take it one step further, leave specific time for this feedback when you outline the meeting agenda. That way, it’s built-in to the time and it’ll never go forgotten.

Each stage of team development doesn’t necessarily take just as much time as the one that comes after it, nor the one before it. This is because your team recognizes how they can trust you and each other in order to complete tasks, move towards their objectives and rely on each other for help. This is where it’s important to level with individual contributors and truly get to know what’s going on.

Performing stage

Your team is new and excited to learn about upcoming projects as well as about each other. You outline the work, as well as key milestones, deliverables and objectives. Maintaining an effective team is much like maintaining a garden; if left unattended, it loses its ability to thrive.

phases of team building

Individuals understand others’ behavior and assert their role in the group. Members try to resolve the issues related to the task and working relations. They also resolve the issues related to the role of the individual in the group. Bruce Tuckman, a researcher of group dynamics, developed the stages of team building. These phases are a way to understand why groups behave in certain ways.

Make sure you schedule the meeting at a time that’s as close to business hours as possible in each time zone. This is also a good time to clarify which times zones everyone works in so people don’t have to wait an entire day for an answer to important questions. This style is characterized by leaders making decisions for others and expecting followers to follow instructions. The directive leader is adept at giving instructions, setting expectations, and establishing timelines and performance standards. However, it is possible for the same leaders to display both directive and supportive behavior as per the demands of the situation. The use of formal work teams is commonplace in modern organizations.

What are the Five Stages of Team Development?

Each of these five stages clearly represents a step that teams go through, from start to finish, to work on a project as they complete all of the necessary steps and tasks for it to be a success. These stages are steps in the team building process and are similar to team building best practices. When each stage carries through successfully, the entire group will be more in sync and functional.

phases of team building

Norms become a way of simplifying choices and facilitating collaboration, since members have shared expectations about how work will get done. The 5 stages of team development created by Bruce Tuckman almost six decades ago serve precisely that purpose. I first heard of his stages of team development when I attended advanced leadership training offered by the Boy Scouts of America. Tuckman’s theory is that every group moves through four stages on its way to becoming a high-performing team.

Signs and questions to look out for in the norming stage

According to the Cambridge, Dictionary feeling as a noun is a fact of feeling something physically (Cambridge, n.d.). According to the New South Wales Government behaviour is how someone acts . It is what a person does to make something happen, to make something change or to keep things the same.

So, first of all, let’s just recognize that this is how this person works. This is an opportunity to hear each other’s expectations so that everyone can discuss and come to an agreement on what’s reasonable or acceptable. This helps to eliminate potential misunderstandings at work in the future due to mismatched expectations.

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No member of the team will be afraid to ask questions, raise concerns, or propose new ways of performing tasks. Team members usually play to their strengths and help each other out, thereby enhancing teamwork and cohesion in your organization. Bottlenecks get addressed promptly and with purpose since the team can easily collaborate and create the solutions required to get everyone back on track.

Some teams do come to an end, when their work is completed or when the organization’s needs change. While not part of Tuckman’s original model, it is important for https://globalcloudteam.com/ any team to pay attention to the end or termination process. For example, the seven-member executive team at Whole Foods spends time together outside of work.

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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. If you reflect on them, they’ll tell you a cohesive story about their strengths, needs and performance. Guides & tools Downloadable guides for busy managers to drive performance. To advance from this stage to the next stage, each member must relinquish the comfort zone of non-threatening topics and risk the possibility of conflict.

When team members are upset with themselves, the task, or each other, they learn what causes the most dysfunction. With this information, the team can begin aspiring to a better team dynamic. At the end of the day, when your team implements the five stages of team development, it sets up everyone in all roles for success.

Adjourning Stage

In this regard, consider ending each meeting with constructive and insightful feedback to enhance the group process. Encouraging the notion that feedback should be given after every meeting makes it easier for team members to air their views. In this stage, the team comes together for the first time, what are the four stages of team development and members get to know each other. The forming stage is often slow and casual since it primarily involves members getting acquainted. Trust is built, which plays a critical role in the team’s success. Team members are able to prevent or solve problems in the team’s process or in the team’s progress.

During this phase of team building, responsibilities are clearly defined and the team begins to map out a plan to achieve its goals. The team’s leader is more engaged in team building at this stage to make sure everyone understands the plan. If the team’s objectives are not aligned, there can be mistakes and missed opportunities.