22 Aug The Stages of Team Development
By understanding the stages of team development you will be able to be a more effective leader. For many of us, it has taken years of trial and error to figure this one out. As a leader, mastering this rarely understood human behavior dynamic will allow you to rise above any team conflicts or disappointment as you understand the ebb and flow of how people work together. Let me fill you in on what these four stages are:
This is the stage where the team members are polite and excited for the project ahead. This stage can last for some time, as people start to work together, and as they make an effort to get to know their new team members.
Next, the team moves into the storming phase, where people start to push against the boundaries made during the forming stage.Storming usually starts when there is a conflict between team members’ working styles.Team members who continue with the current project or task may experience stress, especially if they don’t have the support of established processes or strong relationships with their other members on the team.
In this stage people start to work out their differences, value members’ strengths, and respect your authority as a leader. Also, people develop a stronger commitment to the team goal and good progress is going towards it.
The team reaches the performing stage when hard work without any conflict leads to the achievement of the team’s goal.It feels easy to be part of the team at this stage, and members who join or leave won’t disrupt the overall performance.
Many teams will reach this point. Some members can find it difficult to break away from the team especially, if they have become close with their colleagues or are not accustomed to change.
Taking the Next Step
The reality is that not all teams are created equal; however, there are common patterns in team dynamics. Awareness of these patterns will enable you to motivate your team more effectively. For example, now that you know that there is a high likelihood of a storming phase in the horizon of your team’s journey, you are now able to implement team building activities during the forming phase right before any conflict begins to manifest. Leadership is an acquired skill. You must invest in your continuous learning and growth to continue to thrive.
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