The Stages of Team Development

All You Need To Know.

A team, by definition, is a group of individuals coming together to achieve a common goal. In this union, there will essentially be a lot of human interaction.There are different stages in human interaction and there are different stages of team development. 

Sigmund Freud, in his analysis of the psyche talks about  the Id, Ego and Super ego which controls the human emotions. The three are mutually dependent and plays a commanding role over the actions of humans. The moral policing is handled by the super ego, the id is the spontaneous one and ego takes the middle ground. 

The different behavioural studies and  researches have added value to the HR functions and has helped us better understand the human interactions. So, it is vital to have a vague idea in the least about people and their behavioural patterns.

Bruce Tuckman, in the year 1965, listed four stages of team development and later, in the year 1977, added the fifth stage.

The Five Stages of Team Development

1. Forming

As the name rightly suggests, this is the first stage, where the individuals come together for the first time and form the group. This is the initial stage where the people are just starting to get to know each other. The members are introduced and are given a platform to talk about themselves, their background, a gist of what they can bring to the team and the like. 

It is the role of the team developer to make sure that  the goals are set and the needs are pronounced and are not lost in translation. The milk and caramel has just met and it has not started blending.YET!

2. Storming

This stage can be best described in three Cs and three Ds

  • Conflict-  The team has settled and there is a fair chance of development of conflicts. There might be a lack of consensus over an issue and this might pave way to graver issues.
  • Competition- In the first stage, the members had only spoken about what they bring along with them. By the second stage, it becomes visible and comprehensible. Natural leaders will evolve and this might create a rivalry.
  • Critical- This is a vital stage for the reason that, there is a good chance that the team will perish if they don’t get through the second stage.
  • Dissent-There can be situations where the members don’t agree with each other.
  • Differences- There are chances of cliques and groups being formed inside the team which will eventually lead to the collapse of the entire purpose.
  • Difficulties-the disagreements and dissent will inevitably make it difficult for the team to survive.

If the team gets through the storming stage, the rest of the stages are easy and it can be concluded that the team will be a good performing one.

3. Norming

There is acceptance and understanding. The people agree and try to find meaning to the conversations. They talk and validate and come to a general consensus over what should be done and what shouldn’t be. That is to say, the team members become the decision makers and problem solvers. Moreover, there are not much intrusions from the manager. 

This is a fruitful stage of development and growing together. However, if there are clashes, and glitches, there is a fair chance of storm in the norming stage.Therefore, it might end the existence of the team altogether or take it back to the storming stage.

4. Performing

The stage right before the final one. Where the purpose of the coming together is fulfilled. The job will be performed . So, each member, makes their contribution. If one acts as the pedestal, the other will become the podium and another would be the mic for instance. Each having their own worth and making a valid addition to the team.

Again, there can arise a problem and there’s a minor probability of the team reverting back to any of the former stages. However, the chances are feeble. In all other cases, the task is done and the purpose is arrived at. 

5. Adjourning

This is the last and final stage after which the team is dispersed. This might be a tough time for a few people since they would have gotten fond of the other team members. The success is celebrated and the team is dissolved. Hence, this becomes the end point for the team.

The effectiveness of the team can be measured from the quality of the output which the team has produced. In conclusion, a good team is like that of a piano. White, black, different chords and tones and yet, when handled well, it plays a soothing music in harmony which is great for the listener and the pianist. 

An effective HR department can build an effective team. Continue reading about Human Resource functions.