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Stages of Team Development

Storming, Forming, Norming & Performing 

Stages of Team Development

Self-Directed Work Teams develop in four stages: Forming, Storming, Norming, and Performing. It is management's task to provide training, coaching, and an environment that promotes progression through these stages. 

Forming

This beginning stage lasts a few days or weeks. People think about their new tasks and new environment. Members plan their work and their new roles. Emotions are positive. The work team should also learn about team processes in preparation for rough times ahead. They need to learn the rudiments of conflict resolution, communication, time management, and group decision-making.

Storming

The anticipation and enthusiasm of the forming stage quickly falls away as the team faces a myriad of technical, interpersonal and social problems. They fight and argue. People feel frustration, resentment, and anger as problems fester and work goes undone. 

Managers also experience frustration and are tempted to intervene. Members are on an emotional roller coaster from elation to depression and back again. The situation seems bleak. With proper training and support, the Storming period may last 1-2 months. Without training and support, the team may not progress. 

Conflict has a bad reputation. But, conflict is normal, natural, and even necessary. Handled well it builds skill and confidence as the team enters the Norming Stage.

Norming

Here, the team works through individual and social issues. They establish their own norms of behavior. Members begin to trust each other.

As the team develops interpersonal skills, it also hones other skills. Members become increasingly adept at problem solving. They cross-train and learn new job skills. They manage their time and their quality with growing competence, confidence, and independence. The Norming stage usually is 4-12 months.

Performing

Now things begin to click. Members help each other, conflict is de-personalized, problems are solved and successive goals achieved and exceeded. Satisfaction and pride become the dominant emotions. The team takes pride in their work, pride in their accomplishments, and pride in their team. Individuals take pride in their membership.

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