Forming a team or a group to work together towards a common goal can be a very daunting task. Especially in children, getting them to work together with minimum friction is a difficult job for a teacher. Thus, knowing about the five stages of team development can be quite helpful for this purpose. So here we will familiarize ourselves with the Bruce Tuckman Five Stages of Group Development. Let’s get started.

Stages of Team Development

Bruce Tuckman did pioneering research in the fields of group dynamics and group development. In 1965, he came up with the five-stage theory of group development. The steps are Forming-Storming-Norming-Performing and he later added Adjourning.

This theory tries to explain how a team develops and matures with every stage. The abilities of the team are honed, relationships within the team mature and the leader also changes their leadership style with each progression.

stages of group development

Bruce Tuckman’s Five Stages of Group Development

  • Forming
  • Storming
  • Norming
  • Performing
  • Adjourning

1] Forming

The first stage is the formation of the team, people coming together to accomplish a common task or goal. At the beginning, the team members are yet to get to know each other. So they tend to be uncertain, polite and accommodating to a fault.

For the success of this stage, the leader has to take charge and play a more dominant role. One must make sure that the objectives of the team are clear to each team member. And that they know the role they are playing in this group. In this stage, there must be open communication to encourage familiarity among team members.

2] Storming

This is one of the hardest stages of group development. All team members are looking to establish themselves and exhibit their knowledge and experience. So this stage is often marked by clashing of personalities and conflict. The key here is to keep a positive attitude and coordination.

Here the leader must again clarify the goals to the team members. This is also the stage where sub factions begin to form. The leader must ensure that the team members support each other. Trust building exercises may help with this.

3] Norming

Finally, by this stage, all team members will be on the same page. There are agreement and cooperation amongst them. So performance levels and productivity will increase and the team starts building in the right direction.

The role of the leader at this stage is to take a step back and allow his team to function. He will not need to be very hands-on. But feedback must be given to the team members, whether positive or negative.

4] Performing

By this stage the team is stable and the goals clear. The team is now mature and there are full cooperation and harmony. Performance is at its peak. There are minor differences and some conflict but they are dealt with swiftly and smoothly. The interference by the leadership is at its minimum. The leader must delegate the work effectively and oversee the performance.

5] Adjourning

This is when the group breaks up after completing the task at hand. And all the team members go their separate way. This may be difficult for some members who have gotten comfortable in their routine and with their colleagues.

One important factor of this stage is for the leader to recognize the work done by the team. Recognition of efforts is very important from a psychological point of view. And whenever appropriate the leader must also reward the members for their achievements.

And as we conclude, hopefully these five stages of group development has been helpful to you. It can be implemented in various scenarios where a group or team has to be developed.

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