Every Thursday I focus on a different team development question, short questions which you can incorporate into your own team meetings. When you go to think about team development it is important for us to consider where the team is at.
Teams move through a series of developmental stages, and need different things at different times. Often referred to as Tuckman’s model, I have seen teams of all stripes move through the forming, storming, norming, performing and adjourning stages. In brief, here’s what the stages are:
Forming – Teams which are forming are looking for safety and connection, as well as clarity as to why they exist. Team leaders should be fostering conversation, and helping people get to know each other and their roles, as well as working to create/co-create expectations and why the team exists.
Storming -the honeymoon phase ends as the team moves into the storming stage. This stage can be characterized by overt, or subtle conflict, as the team starts to figure out who they are, why they exist, and what the different roles are. Conflict can be a sign that the team is gelling, and it’s important for the team to be comfortable in working across differences.
Norming – In norming teams start running together, figuring out the different roles which are going to best serve the purposes the team exists. As the team gets clearer here they can start to really soar. Further support around the goals and roles can be useful.
Performing – Finally, the team moves to the performing stage and is moving forward. Regular communication and iteration around what’s working and what isn’t helps the team flourish. Focus on what’s needed in terms of resourcing (time, IT, people, other) also helps teams continue to thrive in the performing stage. Be aware of changes which might move the team backwards to some of the other stages.
Adjourning – Most teams come to a close (at least in one iteration) at some stage. In the adjourning stage is it important to give the team time to focus on celebration, and sharing their learning (what worked, what didn’t) as well as identifying things to carry forward into the work, and future teams.
For more on team development, check out our weekly Thursday Team Development Tips. You can find many of them here.
Enjoy your Wednesday,
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