Having Trouble with a Team? Remember These Four Phases of Group Development
In college, my major was Communication. We studied all types of communication: verbal, nonverbal, corporate, small group, large group, media, and even deceptive communication.
Where group communication was concerned, I vividly remember learning that there were four phases that a team had to work through before it could perform at its highest level. This philosophy was developed by Bruce Tuckman, psychologist, in the 1960's, and they hold true today. The four phases are:
Forming - deciding to form the group and determining group members
Storming - working out roles in the group and learning about team members
Norming - developing patterns and systems for performance
Performing - finally, executing the team's vision
So often, a group gets stuck in the Storming phase that they never reach the point that they can perform. Power struggles pop up, arguments take priority, egos get blistered, injured feelings fester. We see this all the time on Donald Trump's show, The Apprentice.
If team leaders were trained in this simple knowledge of the four phases of group development, perhaps the leader could acknowledge the phase and provide the team with ways to work past the storming. If you find yourself in this situation, just being aware that it is a phase can help you push through the storm.
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Kathryn Acciari, Brand Ambassador
Century 21 Real Estate LLC
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