Recap from Week 1…

Tuckman and Jensen’s Four-Phase Model

  • The Forming Stage: Groups initially concern themselves with orientation accomplished primarily through testing. Such testing serves to identify the boundaries of both interpersonal and task behaviors.
  • The Storming Stage: The second point in the sequence is characterized by conflict and polarization around interpersonal issues, with concomitant emotional responding in the task sphere.
  • The Norming Stage: Resistance is overcome in the third stage in which in-group feeling and cohesiveness develop, new standards evolve, and new roles are adopted.
  • The Performing Stage: Finally, the group attains the fourth and final stage in which interpersonal structure becomes the tool of task activities.

The First Stage of Team Development – Forming

What makes up a good team? Well, that question is open to interpretation, but we will start with the first step in the team building process which is forming. We will discuss what makes up that stage and how each person in the team fits into the process.

Hallmarks of This Stage

When a new team forms, it concerns itself with becoming oriented.It does this through testing.It tests to discover the boundaries of interpersonal and task behavior. At the same time, the members are establishing dependency relationships with leaders, fellow team members, or any standards that existed when the group formed. The behaviors of orientation, testing, and dependence become the process called Forming.

Members behave independently when the team forms.While there may be good will towards fellow members, unconditional trust is not yet possible.

What to Do As a Leader

Strong leadership skills are essential in the Forming stage.The leader must:

  • Provide an environment for introductions
  • Create a climate where participants can begin to build rapport
  • Present a solid first agenda so that the goals for the team are clear.

What to Do As a Follower

Because the members of a new team may experience uncertainty and apprehension, it’s important to help members feel comfortable and that they are a part of the group. In addition, helping team members enhance their listening skills will allow them to focus more clearly on the objectives, thereby helping to maintain interest and enthusiasm for the work of the team.

The Second Stage of Team Development – Storming

We will look at the Storming phase where the team focuses on their objective. This is the reason the team was created, and we will break down where the leaders and followers fit into this stage. Team members will now begin to fill certain rolls and the team is starting to come together.

The Hallmarks of This Stage

In the Storming phase, the team starts to address the objective(s), suggesting ideas.It empowers itself to share leadership. Different ideas may compete for consideration, and if badly managed, this phase can be very destructive for the team.Egos emerge and turf wars occur. In extreme cases, the team can become stuck in this phase.

If a team is too focused on consensus, they may decide on a plan which is less effective to complete the task for the sake of the team. This carries its own set of challenges. It is essential that a team has strong facilitative leadership during this phase.

What to Do As a Leader

Team conflict is normal in this phase, and is a catalyst for creativity. But the leader must address any conflict immediately and directly so issues don't fester. Once you understand two sides to an issue, you can help the team generate a win-win solution.Assertive communication is an important skill during this phase of the group's evolution.It is also important to help team members continue to build trust.

What to Do As a Follower

A mindmap is a diagram used to represent words, ideas, tasks, or other items linked to and arranged around a central key word or idea. Mind maps are used to generate, visualize, structure, and classify ideas, and as an aid in study, organization, problem solving, decision making, and writing.

The elements of a given mind map are arranged intuitively according to the importance of the concepts, and are classified into groupings, branches, or areas, with the goal of representing semantic or other connections between portions of information.

By presenting ideas in a radial, graphical, non-linear manner, mind maps encourage a brainstorming approach to planning and organizational tasks.

The Third Stage of Team Development – Norming

By now the team should be in place and everyone has their role with progress beginning on the objectives. Goals have been set and people are now beginning to work on their tasks.

The Hallmarks of This Stage

As the team moves out of the Storming phase, it enters the Norming phase. This tends to be a move towards harmonious working practices.Teams begin agreeing on the rules and values by which they operate. In the ideal situation, teams begin to trust themselves during this phase as they accept the vital contributions of each member toward achieving the team’s goals.

What to Do As a Leader

As individual members take greater responsibility, team leaders can take a step back from the leadership role at this stage.It is an opportune time to provide team members with task and process tools, or even an energizer to keep enthusiasm levels high.

What to Do As a Follower

Because team members have gained some mutual trust, they are freer to focus on process and task. Being a link in a chain is a great way to visualize followers in this stage. If one link is not pulling its weight, or is not as strong as the other links the chance of success is lessened. Everyone needs to work together.

The Fourth Stage of Team Development – Performing

The team should now be well into their work and progress made on their objectives. Communication is going well and team members are sharing knowledge and working well together.

Hallmarks of this Stage

Once teams move from Norming to Performing, they are identified by high levels of independence, motivation, knowledge, and competence. Decision making is collaborative and dissent is expected and encouraged as there will be a high level of respect in the communication between team members.

What to Do As a Leader

Since the team is functioning in a highly independent way in the Performing phase, the leader shifts partially into a support and mentoring role to provide task or process resources to help the team complete its objectives.

What to Do As a Follower

Because the Performing stage implies high interpersonal trust, knowledge, and competence, participants can perform higher level analyses to support decisions toward team objectives.

A SWOT analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats) is a simple tool that allows specific ideas to be easily categorized to help support the adoption of a solution to an objective.

ARE YOU READY TO GROW AS A LEADER? If so, book a discovery session with Dr. Lashley now at CLICK HERE OR, send a message to growme@theleadersinnovativegrowthsolutions.com to learn more.

©Dr. Tracie Hines Lashley