Using the Stages of Team Development MIT Human Resources

They accept others as they are and make an effort to move on. The danger here is that members may be so focused on preventing conflict that they are reluctant to share controversial ideas. In this stage, team members are creating new ways of doing and being together.

four stages of team development

For this reason, this is the stage that usually slows a team down. Motivators would increase job satisfaction while the hygiene factors would reduce job dissatisfaction. Money as a reward would be a motivator otherwise a hygiene factor.


Your participation should be much more focused on how the team is tackling problems rather than solving the problems for them. You will still raise issues, ask questions, and challenge approaches, but more to validate the team’s conclusion than to drive it. Leadership belongs to everyone on the team, and the team owns its results.

four stages of team development

Don’t rely on your own perspective; get a broader view of the situation. Have someone external to the team conduct confidential interviews of the team members and other key stakeholders. Ask questions about the current team dynamics, critical business challenges facing the team in the coming months, and expectations for what needs to be accomplished during the next few team meetings.

Norming and re-norming

Identifying each of the 4 stages of team development helps you underscore your team’s needs during each one. As issues are addressed and resolved, the team’s morale begins to increase. Trust builds, productivity rises and the team begins working together toward the common goal. At this point, the leader should draw out the opinions of all members and leverage the diversity of the team.

four stages of team development

The team is flexible as individuals adapt to meet the needs of other team members. This is a highly productive stage both personally and professionally. Not only are you proud of the team development they’ve exemplified, but you’re also proud of their individual capacity to stay in integrity with the quality of their work.

Pivoting Your Services in Challenging Times

The Storming phase is when team members begin to push back against the decisions made in the Forming stage. Questions regarding the mission, goals, objectives and techniques of the team will be discussed. Team members are starting to feel comfortable enough with one another to bring up opposing ideas and thoughts. If a boundary was set in the Forming stage, it will be tested in the Storming stage. Because of this the Storming phase is often the most stressful stage for team members.

After the internal conflicts have been resolved, the team members begin to exhibit a sense of cohesion and are more comfortable with one another. They begin sharing their ideas and giving feedback to one another, increasing the group’s overall creativity. After all, their ability to overcome obstacles and achieve their goals is a reflection of a management job well done.

See why top CEOs trust Rhythm to align their teams

It’s important that you take the lead in developing agendas, gathering information and solving problems. Try to involve as many members as you can in conversations and 4 stages of role development decisions, but know that the ultimate responsibility lies with you. It’s easy for everyone — including you — to get in a tunnel and focus on their own lists of tasks.

  • Because of this the Storming phase is often the most stressful stage for team members.
  • This is also the stage in which group members test boundaries, create ground rules, and define organizational standards.
  • Guides & tools Downloadable guides for busy managers to drive performance.
  • Avoidance usually makes the problem grow until it blows up.
  • Ask them to prepare examples beforehand outlining what worked and what didn’t, and then give each person five minutes to share their thoughts.
  • It’s not uncommon for team members to feel overwhelmed during this stage.
  • The number of risks and dependencies sent these established and cohesive dev teams into a flurry of (ultimately, unproductive and/or counter-productive) activity.

When your team learns more context about what’s required of them in this stage, they’ll feel more confident. Understand your people’s needs and make team management your greatest strength. Remote teams A simple platform that tells you how remote teams really feel, and fosters action-oriented 1-on-1 conversations. When one person fails to complete a task, the rest of the group suffers. End each meeting with insightful and constructive feedback that improves the group process.

Why are the 5 stages of group development important?

Groups are so in-sync during the performing stage that it seems to happen naturally. The most effective and high-functioning teams are cultivated. (Sadly, not a perfect rhyme.) Once a project ends, the team disbands.