I think you’ll agree with me when I say that finding individuals determined to work together is not always easy.

While it is a difficult task, you can still identify the 5 stages in team development and create a team that is both effective and efficient.

Stage #1: Forming

In this case, your goal is not to create a group (which is simply a collection of people working together), but to form a team, people coming together for one objective. This first stage is typically where the team members are eager for the work ahead. This is the time to create a mission for the team – defining the team with goals, structure, roles, and direction.

Stage #2: Storming

Once the team is better defined with a goal in place, some individuals might lose that eagerness they had when they initially started, and we start to see how feelings and opinions affect the team. The focus shifts from the tasks at hand to seeing how members respond to conflict. In this stage it is normal for people to express their views and concerns about reaching the set goals.

Stage #3: Norming

In this stage of team development, the focus shifts on how they can work together to accomplish their goals. Communication increases amongst the team, and if members are successful in setting up norms and expectations, there is a better chance of individuals feeling comfortable in sharing their views and ideas. This is the time for members to feel included and increase productivity, both individually and collectively.

Stage #4: Performing

Feeling comfortable around each other makes it much easier to focus on the tasks and be effective as a team. At this stage, members are more aware of their own and each other’s strengths and weaknesses, allowing individuals to take on roles that will more effectively move them towards reaching their goals. Confidence is instilled in individuals and each other, giving them a “can-do” attitude and motivation to grow, develop, and deepen their knowledge and skills.

Stage #5: Adjourning

Some teams may take a while to reach the adjourning stage and may stay in the performing stage for a while as they reassess their goals and circle back to earlier stages. In this fifth stage, the team evaluates their accomplishments and implements other plans if necessary. Some teams do officially come to an end, leading to the feeling of uncertainty with their individual role or the conflicting feeling of satisfaction from all their accomplishments. Either way, it is important to ensure all the goals are properly met and accomplishments are celebrated.

What is the Importance of Identifying these Stages?

Whether you are the team leader or another team member, being able to identify the team development stages can help you understand where you fit within the team and what adjustments need to be made to achieve success. Seeing how others work together can help you make necessary changes to create a team that is high-performing with a common purpose, clear roles, good communication processes, and supportive leadership. So the next time you step into a team environment, keep in mind these 5 stages to help you reach your goals!

Which stage do you find most difficult in team development? Leave your response below!

By: Victoria S. Martinez