Team Development Stage 2: Storming

Ahhh…conflict.  It’s unavoidable in working with teams, and Stage 2 of Tuckman’s Model of Group Development- Storming- is often characterized by this conflict.


The purpose for the team is becoming more clear, but plenty of questions still remain. Some of the early enthusiasm for the team may wane as they find it takes longer to make progress than they had anticipated, leading to some frustrations. In this stage team members begin to form relationships with one another. Some quickly “gel” and others, not so much. People begin to vie for position and may push against boundaries as they become more comfortable within the team. Some on the team who are very conflict adverse may become increasingly uncomfortable as others become more apt to share differing opinions.

The leader should expect to be challenged by some team members during this stage as individuals jockey for position and power. The leader must remain positive in the face of conflict, ready to listen and prepared to be an active participant in conflict resolution. The leader should make sure that team members are clearly aware of their tasks and responsibilities and continues to focus on these instead of on conflict.

• Engage team members in understanding (and appreciating) their inherent differences with tools like the Myers Briggs Temperament Inventory, Real Colors, and the DISC Communications Style Inventory.
• Resolve conflict swiftly when it occurs. Do not allow conflicts to fester.
• Explain Tuckman’s Model of Group Development to the team such that they understand that the Storming stage is normal and expected in team development.
• Coach team members in conflict resolution skills.
• Remind team of their goals and help them focus on these.
• Continue negotiating ground rules for the team that all can agree upon.
• Be clear with the team on the progress they have made.
• If the team remains confused on any goals, roles, or tasks- these should be reexamined and redefined for clarity.

Next week: Stage 3: NORMING.


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