All of us working in various project related assignments but also those playing football/ Basketball/ volleyball or active in any other groups can most probably recognize something from the following stories.
Forming: In this first team building phase people are driven by a desire to be accepted by the others, and avoid controversy and conflict. Serious issues and feelings are avoided and people focus on being busy with routines.
Storming: Every group will next enter the storming stage in which different ideas compete for consideration. The team addresses issues such as what problems they are really supposed to solve, how they will function independently and together and what leadership model they will accept. In some cases storming can be resolved quickly. In others, the team never leaves this stage.
Norming: In this stage the team manages to have one goal and come to a mutual plan for the team at this stage. Some may have to give up their own ideas and agree with others in order to make the team function.
Performing: These high-performing teams are able to function as a unit as they find ways to get the job done smoothly and effectively without inappropriate conflict or the need for external supervision. The team members are now competent, autonomous and able to handle the decision-making process without supervision.
Can you recognize a stage where you sit at the moment with your project team, with your football team or with any other group?I have just been in a middle of a heaviest storming phase ever in my work life! Yes, thisstage included it all, endless discussions and meetings after meetings to try to get anagreement on goals, approach and role divisions; resource changes and manymore topics which needed resolving before the REAL work could begin.
Another examples come from my private life. Yes, for sure I can recognize some group developments specially during the first year when I moved from Finland to the Netherlands. For example, all the “norming” phases when trying to get accepted by different new groups I was studying/ working/ doing sport with. During one of the “storming” phases I tried to convince my Dutch parents-in-law to take their shoes out before stepping into our living room (this is found really impolite in Finland due to all the dirt, mud and snow your would bring into someone’s house).
As you can imagine, every team tries to get to the performing stage as soon as possible.
This is not always possible, and some teams never reach this stage. I would always strive to get there, because I recognize how much easier and faster it is to “get things done” with a performing team and how much more FUN you can have with the team after reaching this stage.