Team Stages
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.
Stage One: Forming (Awareness): The Immature Group
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.

  • Theme: orientation
  • Behaviors desired: commitment to group goals as task behavior, friendliness and concern about others and interest in relationship with others
  • Outcomes desired: commitment and acceptance of team and of others
  • Actions and activities: learning whatís expected
  • Leaderís role: high-task, low-relationship to compensate for low follower readiness
  • Leaderships skills and techniques: value clarification, visioning, communication through myth and metaphor, and goal setting to develop acceptance and commitment as individuals need to understand how they relate to team and teamís relationship to organization
  • Task of individual: getting acquainted, assessing strengths and weaknesses, participating in goal setting
  • Stage Two: Storming (Conflict): The Fractionated Group
    The anticipation and enthusiasm of the forming stage quickly falls away as the team faces a myriad of technical, interpersonal and social problems.

  • Theme: resistance
  • Behaviors desired: acknowledgment and confrontation of conflict openly at task level and listening with understanding to others at relationship level
  • Outcomes desired: clarification and belonging
  • Actions and activities: leadership struggles, incomplete communication, arguments and personalizing events; members appear confused and dissatisfied and output is low
  • Leaderís role: maintaining adequate production while building group competence requires high-task, high relationship
  • Leadership skills and techniques: active listening, assertiveness and conflict management to resolve stage two issues, and flexibility and creativity to support open environment and set climate for new ideas
  • Task of individual: listening actively and attentively to all viewpoints, supporting the development of and encouraging supportive environment for expression of ideas, confronting and managing disagreements to clarify purposes, roles and procedures
  • Stage Three: Norming (Cooperation): The Sharing Group
    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.

  • Theme: cohesion
  • Behavior desired: inclusion of others in decision making to meet task needs, recognition and respect of differences to meet relationship needs
  • Outcomes desired: involvement and support
  • Actions and activities: open exchange of feelings, facts, ideas, preferences and support; less dissatisfaction as ways of working together are clarified
  • Leaderís role: low-task, high relationship to promote participation and involvement, providing more opportunities for group members to take responsibility
  • Leadership skills and techniques: use of the techniques of playfulness and humor, entrepreneurship and coalition building (networking) promote involvement and support communication, feedback and affirmation
  • Task of individual: appreciation of differences, recognition of group success as source of personal power and resources, use of feedback to support collaborative working relationships, greater involvement in decision-making
  • Stage Four: Performing (Productivity): The Effective Team
    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.

  • Theme: interdependence
  • Behaviors: contribution and valuing of new ideas and the ideas of others
  • Outcomes: achievement and pride
  • Actions and activities: working collaboratively to challenge their potential; celebrating success in the achievement of more complex goals helps sustain enthusiasm and maintain momentum
  • Leaderís role: delegation reduces need for interaction with staff to low-task, low relationship
  • Leadership skills and techniques: problem solving, planning, and decision making skills provide opportunities for achievement; mentoring helps to foster achievement in others
  • Task of individual: sharing in group accomplishments and productivity lead to sense of satisfaction and pride
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