How to empower your team at every stage of development
Have productive meetings your team can be proud of with a clear meeting agenda for every event in your calendar. At this point, explain how each team member is expected to help. For example, let the designers know that the user interface will be reviewed to see whether there’s an opportunity to make improvements.
A communication plan is an outline of how your team is going to communicate important information to key stakeholders. Clarity on the various avenues of communication allows team members to effectively get work done, understand their roles, and know where to find the information they need about work. Establishing a communication plan can help you do all of these things in a way that’s easy for your team to follow. Establishing group collaboration early on can help reduce the impact of—or even prevent—this stage of group development. In fact, disagreement is critical to effective team collaboration. So when conflicts do arise, it’s important to resolve them with effective problem-solving as they come instead of avoiding them.
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But you have to find a way to make sure team members are aligned and on the same page. Most high-performing teams go through five stages of team development. As a team leader, it’s your goal to support and empower your team to help get their highest-impact work done. When your team members feel comfortable with each other, it’s easier to collaborate and work together. Alternatively, if your team is having challenges meshing, it may take them longer to get work done.
An excellent example of team development is when colleagues from different departments partner to work on a project. Our discussion so far has focused mostly on a team as an entity, not on the individuals inside the team. This is like describing a car by its model and color without considering what is under the hood.
The team members are now competent, autonomous and able to handle the decision-making process without supervision. Dissent is expected and allowed as long as it is channelled through means acceptable to the team. Initially, they might not understand each other’s expectations and roles. Even so, they’ll still need to collaborate and divide roles and responsibilities to ensure the project gets completed on time.
Coach all team members to be assertive, and stand up for their ideas and opinions in a positive and calm way. Address and resolve conflicts and problems as soon as they arise. Speaking of ends, the Adjourning Stage is the bittersweet cherry on the top of each team and project, and it will happen whether you want it or not. It’s a great opportunity to reflect on your accomplishments and think about what you learned. In the end, they sell the garden, and go their separate ways, capping off the project as a complete success in every way.
Reaching the performing stage is a major success and often precipitates some form of team learning. Team learning is a behavioral process of seeking, gathering, discussing, and implementing methods of team success. Whether through training, group initiative, or innovative leadership, team learning is an action step that ensures healthy team development. As the real work kicks in, the project may present both technical and interpersonal challenges. Individual work habits, leadership decisions, or lapses in communication can cause tension within a team. Annoyance, frustration, and anxiety commonly arise in response.
In addition to evaluating accomplishments in terms of meeting specific goals, for teams to be high-performing it is essential for them to understand their development as a team. In this stage, team members are creating new ways of doing and being together. As the group develops cohesion, leadership changes from ‘one’ teammate in charge to shared leadership.
Forming — Getting projects started
If your team has ever thrashed about like this, then you know what “storming” is. Sounds great in theory, but putting it into practice can feel daunting. With a structured approach, you can improve your team’s performance at each stage of development. During the Ending Stage, some team members may become less focussed on the team’s tasks and their productivity may drop.
- Norms are only effective in controlling behaviors when they are accepted by team members.
- This is also the time in which teams can celebrate everything they have achieved together.
- With a clear communication plan in place, your team will know how to discuss their issues with the rest of the team in a constructive manner.
- While one loves to get the job done irrespective of the time it takes, another is mainly concerned about getting the job done on time.
- Encourage team members to develop a schedule filled with large blocks of time that are free from interruptions like meetings or check-ins.
At this level, the products have been fully developed and tested as specified in the team’s mission and objectives. Before the team can finally move to this last stage, they have to complete the performing stage where members of the team put in their best for the success of the team. So, the performing stage sees all the members of the team up and doing with their various responsibilities. Since the team is rarely disturbed with conflicts and disagreements, every member of the team can easily work together to achieve the team’s goals. However, conflicts are quickly resolved in a team at the norming stage. After the team might have successfully navigated the storming stage, then the norming stage is where resolution and acceptance take place.
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The forming stage involves a period of orientation and getting acquainted. Uncertainty is high during this stage, and people are looking for leadership and authority. A member who asserts authority or is knowledgeable may be looked to take control. Team members are asking such questions as “What does the team offer me? ” Most interactions are social as members get to know each other.
Learning how to handle dissonance early strengthens a team and readies teammates to overcome more complex challenges with grace. Skipping this crucial development stage can stunt a team’s growth and delay true harmony. Norms result from the interaction of team stages of group development members during the development process. Initially, during the forming and storming stages, norms focus on expectations for attendance and commitment. Later, during the norming and performing stages, norms focus on relationships and levels of performance.
Concluding a group can create some apprehension – in effect, a minor crisis. The termination of the group is a regressive movement from giving up control to giving up inclusion in the group. Marija Kojic is a productivity writer who’s always researching about various productivity techniques and time management tips in order to find the best ones to write about. She can often be found testing and writing about apps meant to enhance the workflow of freelancers, remote workers, and regular employees. Appeared in G2 Crowd Learning Hub, The Good Men Project, and Pick the Brain, among other places. Delegate tasks appropriately, and according to the skills, experience, and interests of individual team members.
Team members thrive when handling individual and collective tasks since each individual’s skills are fully optimized. In the norming stage, the team falls into a rhythm and starts to work as a cohesive task force. Each member’s talents and skills get validated and utilized in executing the necessary tasks. As a result, the team starts to operate more effectively and gains momentum towards realizing the shared goals.
Teams review the last few weeks or months to celebrate their successes. None of us have perfect information, but we can get closer by sharing what we know and what we see. I like to play a game I call “Pin the Tail on the Tuckman” to uncover those differences in perception and align on where a team is at. The Flywheel Growth Model There are loads of ways to grow a company – learn about our approach here. Remote Control Keep on top of your work from home life with these tips and ideas from our team to yours.
Stage #1 — The Forming Stage
The performance level of the team is high and each member of the team strives to make his or her best contributions to the success of the team. You can make conscious efforts to set up conflict resolution processes and policies. And this would lead to an increase in team’s productivity and performance. Even though members of the team might have learnt to accept each other, conflicts can still occur occasionally. How much more a team which comprises individuals from different backgrounds and environments where each individual has its own peculiarities and differences. Also, consider breaking down the team’s large goals into smaller ones so the team can focus on accomplishing the smaller ones first before concentrating on the bigger ones thereafter.
Set reminders for yourself to check in with team members, or send calendar events so that making updates is always top of mind and getting done. The main goal here is to keep the momentum going so that the project wraps up on time. Any insights should be shared in a public forum so everyone in the company can learn. Disagreements are unavoidable on teams, especially when each person on the team has a different perspective on how to approach the issues the team encounters.
Members often have high positive expectations for the team experience. At the same time, they may also feel some anxiety, wondering how they will fit in to the team and if their performance will measure up. The stages of group development in organizational behavior and management are a theory of team development — a group-forming model that consists of 5 distinct stages. You have done a good job if you can manage your team successfully to reach this last stage of team development.
Tolerance of each team member and their differences should be emphasized; without tolerance and patience the team will fail. This phase can become destructive to the team and will lower motivation if allowed to get out of control. Some teams will never develop past this stage; however, disagreements within the team can make members stronger, more versatile, and able to work more effectively together. Supervisors during this phase may be more accessible, but tend to remain directive in their guidance of decision-making and professional behaviour. The team members will therefore resolve their differences and members will be able to participate with one another more comfortably.