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Having Trouble with a Team? Remember These Four Phases of Group Development

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
175 Park Avenue
Madison NJ 07940

Serving Brokers, Owners, and Agents Throughout New England

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Blog: Real Estate Blog
Twitter: @kacciari

Comment balloon 5 commentsKathryn Acciari • September 16 2010 09:57PM



Short, sweet, and to the point information about the structure of team building. Nice work!

Posted by Aaron Vaughn, REALTOR© 512-845-4204, My knowledge is your power | eXp Realty (eXp Realty) over 9 years ago

Great info about teams.  I agree completely about the storming phase. 

Posted by Joyce Marsh, Regal Christie's International Real Estate (Regal | Christie's International Real Estate) over 9 years ago

My team members are my daughter and husband, so we pretty much have the first phase locked in!

Posted by Liz Lockhart, GRI, Cape Girardeau Real Estate (Riverbend Realty, Cape Girardeau, MO) over 9 years ago

Great post on organizing teams.  I have so much trouble keeping the team using the systems.

Posted by Kay Van Kampen, Realtor®, Springfield Mo Real Estate (RE/MAX Broker, RE/MAX) over 9 years ago

Kathryn  I have to have the weakest member of my team read this - he's my husband  :)  Seriously, this is very well stated

Posted by Karen Kruschka, - "My Experience Isn't Expensive - It's PRICELESS" (RE/MAX Executives) over 9 years ago