5 Stages of Team Development

free essayTuckman’s research-based theory proposes that every group must undergo five stages to develop to the point when the group members can unite and function effectively to achieve high quality results. Forming stage is associated with positivity and politeness of the members since the adherence to rules of behavior helps them to easily handle difficulties and avoid conflict. The problems may appear because some are anxious since they are not fully aware of what work the group will do, while other members are excited about the work ahead (Robbins, 2005). Members crave acceptance by the group, and they need to know that the group is safe (Creed & Phillips, 2011).

Storming stage is associated with competition and conflict between group members. The conflict can emerge as a result of the members’ personal relations and task functions. People work in different ways and for different reasons, but they can be frustrated if different working styles cause unforeseen problems (Robbins, 2005). It becomes necessary for individual group members to shape and adjust their ideas, beliefs, attitudes and feelings to that of other members of the group to secure sustainability (Creed & Phillips, 2011).

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Cohesion characterizes interpersonal relations at the norming stage. Group members take part in active acknowledgement of the contributions of other members, community building, and solution of issues arising in the group (Creed & Phillips, 2011). Members express willingness to alter their preconceived opinions or ideas on the basis of facts proposed by other members, and they actively query one another (Robbins, 2005). Thus, there is shared leadership, and cliques are disbanded. Members start collaborating with one another, thereby improving the level of trust in their personal relations and contributing to the development of cohesion in the group (Creed & Phillips, 2011).

Performing stage is characterized by group members’ ability to work in subgroups, independently, or as a total unit. Their obligations and authorities are closely aligned with the dynamic needs of the team and individuals. There is interdependence in problem-solving, task functions and interpersonal relations (Creed & Phillips, 2011). The group should be optimally productive at this stage since there is unity and hard work (Wheelan, 2010).

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Adjourning is the last stage. It involves termination of the group’s project, and after that, the members move into different directions (Creed & Phillips, 2011). In the end, the group leader should gather all members to celebrate the success and identify the best practices for use in the future or to assess what happened and draw lessons if the project was not successful (Wheelan, 2010).

The five-stage model is suitable for me. I share a common belief that effectiveness of any group is dependent on a systematic model. The rationale is that the formation of a group or a team is a time-consuming task because members have to transform from a group of strangers with divergent views, attitudes and beliefs to a united group with mutual goals. This transformation must be systematic, and the five-stage growth model provides ideal grounds for it.

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I am able to work independently and in a team at the performing stage. During my participation in several group projects, I have successfully discharged my assigned duties independently and won recognition. My capacity to work in a team derives from my skills to solve problems in order to find optimum solutions and ensure development of the group. However, I acknowledge that I need to refine my ability to adopt ideas and views of other people in order to meet requirements of the norming stage.

The five-stage growth model has provided me with the insight into the creation and development of a team over time. The five stages should be complied with in a predetermined and thoughtful way for the team to have optimal functioning and realization of its goals and objectives. Proper functioning cannot be achieved unless a group has undergone conflicts and has formulated behavioral standards.

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In summary, the formation of a group is a common task in today’s business environments. Leaders must have a comprehensive understanding of how groups develop over time. The five-stage model of group development recommends five phases a group needs to undergo to achieve the best results. Among the proposed stages are forming, storming, and norming, performing and adjourning. The application of the model can ensure the effectiveness of a team.