The Stages Of Team Development
One of the greatest challenges a coaching manager has is in moving his or her team though the various team development Phoenix karaoke. If a manager has no, or little experience of teams and team dynamics then taking over a team and then leading that team can be a very stressful experience. Every manager should know what the various growth stages are of a developing team and they should know how best to move the team through these stages with the minimum of fuss and stress. Unfortunately, many managers do not get the necessary training or coaching in this area of team development and as such teams go through a lot of stress and turmoil when perhaps this could be minimised quite considerably.
In the next couple of pages I will take you through a simple team development model, which I find the most useful of all the models I have studied. The names of each of the stages sum up perfectly what you can expect at each stage!
Psychologist, B.W Tuckman in the 1970s, developed this model and Tuckman suggests that there are four team development stages that teams have to go through in order to be productive. The four stages are:
Forming when the team meets and starts to work together for the first time.
Storming, when the members within the team start to “jockey” for position and when control struggles take place.
Some teams will go through the four stages fairly rapidly and move from forming through to performing in a relatively short space of time. A lot depends on the composition of the team, the capabilities of the individuals, the tasks at hand, and of course the leadership from management. One thing is certain – no team passes over the storming phase.
All teams must be prepared to go through the difficult and stressful times as well as reaping the benefits of the productive phases. The task of the coaching manager is to identify where along the path of team development his or her team is and then move it on to the next phase with the minimum of fuss and resistance.
This is a stressful phase when new teams come together. Everyone is a bit wary of each other, particularly if they do not know anyone and particularly if the manager is new. Even more stressful, if the rumours circulating about the manager are not favourable!
The first meeting is a nervous one and a good coaching manager will recognise this and make attempts to ensure the team is put at ease. As the forming stage is the stage where cliques can develop, the coaching manager should be aware of this and should be aware of the various alliances that will occur at this stage. Not all alliances will be counter-productive to the team’s future success but it pays for the coaching manager to watch and observe the behaviours of potential cliques. The challenge for the coaching manager is basically to give an inert group of people who hardly know each the best start possible as a new team. The coaching manager should attempt to do the following in order to give the team the best possible start.
Outline specifically the task the team has to perform.