The 4 stages of team development eLearning

Team Development Stages

Dr. Bruce Tuckman’s team development model is a popular framework for understanding how teams form. According to Tuckman, teams move through a series of four stages of development:

  1. Forming
  2. Storming
  3. Norming
  4. Performing

The four stages of development describe how teams develop relationships with one another and learn to approach work as a group. As a team leader, your goal is to help your team successfully progress to the final stage of team development: performing. That’s because the performing stage is where your team achieves optimal performance.

The best thing you can do for newly forming teams is to provide clarity and encourage emotional connection. At forming stage, teams need clarity on team roles, responsibilities, expectations, and goals. They need an emotional connection to break down barriers between people and start building familiarity and trust.

Remember that storming is a difficult but normal part of team development. Expect team members to be more confrontational at this stage. What’s most important is that you help your team develop healthy and constructive strategies for navigating differences, overcoming challenges, and staying focused on shared goals. 

Norming is the first stage where your team will actually start to feel like a team. A shared framework and understanding of team norms and rules help everyone perform at a higher level. Leverage this momentum and help your team develop and refine their skills.

Just because your team is performing doesn’t mean that there’s nothing left for you to do. Practice these do’s and don’ts to help a team that has made it to this final stage of development:

  • Practice continuous improvement—lead discussions with your team to continuously identify new ways to grow and evolve

  • Delegate increasingly complex tasks and assign higher levels of autonomy or authority

  • Avoid micromanagement—allow teams to be self-directing

  • Set higher expectations and bigger goals for your team

To learn more, visit the Concipio dynamic education, the four stages of team development eLearning course

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