Team Development Stage 1: Forming

You may recall from last week, we began our conversation about Tuckman’s Model of Group Development (forming-storming-norming-performing-adjourning). For a group to perform successfully it is critical that they advance through each of these stages. Not every team advances through all stages. If you are on a team which does not perform well, it’s a good chance the team is stuck somewhere along the way. Thus, it’s important to understand all stages, and perhaps more importantly, how to move groups from one stage to the next.

Today on the blog we are looking at Stage 1 of Tuckman’s Model of Group Development- FORMING.

In this stage team members get to know each other and the team. Individual roles and responsibilities are unclear. Team wants to know what they are working toward and why. At this stage members often avoid conflict as they want to be accepted within the group. Members are generally excited to be involved but possess little commitment to the team.

The team depends heavily on the leader who must provide guidance and direction. Often the leader sets the aims for the group. The leader must spend time orienting the team to the team’s purpose, objectives, etc.

• Determine team purpose, goals, objectives, structures, etc.
• Determine roles of team members
• Outline expectations for all.
• Establish trust. Purposeful teambuilding is important.
• The leader should expect many questions from the team at this stage and spend time clarifying and answering.
• The leader should be open about how he/she prefers to operate, strengths and weaknesses.


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