A popular topic in today’s business environment is working in “Teams” or “Work Teams”. Have you heard the following expressions?
“I’m a team player.” “We are a team!” “One of my strengths is working in teams.”
Teams are defined as a group of people (employees) that come together to work intensely on and achieve a specific, common goal by using positive collaboration, complementary skills, and accountability.
The key words in the definition are “come together”! I say, “It is easier said than done!” Here are the 5 stages of team development! Try to relate to your workplace and even to your everyday life and see if you can identify any of these stages.
Forming Stage: People are joining the group. Once they have joined, the next step is to find out the team’s purpose, structure, and leadership. This stage involves high levels of uncertainty because members are “testing the waters” to find out what type of behavior is acceptable. The stage is complete once members begin to think of themselves as part of a team.
Storming Stage: The stage with intragroup conflict over who will control the team, what the teams needs to be doing, and the role of each team member.
Norming Stage: A close relationship is developed and the team becomes organized. The team demonstrates a strong sense of group identity.
Performing Stage: The team structure is in place and accepted by team members. Their energy has moved from getting to know and understand each other to working on the team’s task.
Adjourning Stage: Applies to teams that were formed to accomplish a specific goal. Once the goal has been accomplished, the team prepares to separate. Teams can react in different ways, they could be upbeat and happy for accomplishing the goal or they can be sad because of the friendship and camaraderie that was developed and will be loss.
As you can see, developing a team is not “a piece of cake”. I love the following quote from Henry Ford:
“Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success.”
Share a personal experience working in teams and identify the team development stage if possible.