The Five Stages of Team Development Principles of Management

Most high-performing teams go through five stages of team development. Understanding the five stages of team development is the first step toward establishing highly productive teams. Tuckman’s stages of team development describe how teams begin, develop, improve, and wrap up.

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During this stage, it’s important to write down goals and assignments to eliminate ambiguity. It’s also important to hold regular status checks, to assess progress, determine where people are stuck, provide help, and give regular effective feedback. For the leader, it’s equally important to ask for feedback and demonstrate openness to receiving it, acknowledging its value, and acting on it. Within a high-performing team, there is an appreciation of the need for a balance of communication styles, and of balancing the intuitive and logical mind. The logical mind helps people solve problems and stay on task.

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Team members adjust to teammate behaviors and devise strategies to overcome differences. Moving beyond initial hurdles, teammates acknowledge the common goal and focus on making significant progress. Experts occasionally refer to the process as Tuckman’s stages of group development, the group development process, or the five stages of team building. A team is a group of people who work together to achieve a common objective. Each team member contributes to the common goal uniquely, utilizing a distinct set of abilities to perform a team function.

It necessitates a group going through many stages that are not always simple to conquer. On the other hand, When your team adopts the 4 stages of team development, it sets everyone in all positions up to succeed. It’s best if you utilize each step to learn and grasp something new about your teammates while also working to improve your operations. Knowing what to expect at each step allows you to anticipate what can transpire next, better assist your coworkers, and ensure complete alignment on all moving pieces.

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This is typically when questions about roles, leadership, and planning emerge, so you’ll want to be prepared to address them immediately. The five stages of team development have remained consistent over the years. ‎The theory provides insights into how productive teams form and develop over time. It also reminds us that what are the 4 stages of team development teams are never high-performing and ready to go from the onset. Instead, they need time to form a cohesive unit that can achieve results. Bruce Tuckman, a professor of educational psychology at Ohio State who researched the psychology of group dynamics, developed his stages of team development theory in the 1960s.

what are the 4 stages of team development

I first heard of his stages of team development when I attended advanced leadership training offered by the Boy Scouts of America. Tuckman’s theory is that every group moves through four stages on its way to becoming a high-performing team. By recognizing these stages, we can adapt our leadership style to the needs of the team. By taking these steps, leaders can help their teams progress through the stages of group development and achieve their goals. It’s important to remember that not all teams will linearly go through these stages, and it’s okay for teams to revisit earlier stages as needed. The key is to remain flexible and adaptive in your approach to team management, always keeping the team’s needs and objectives in mind.


This is the second stage of team development, where the group starts to sort itself out and gain each others’ trust. This stage often starts when they voice their opinions; conflict may arise between team members as power and status are assigned. At this stage there is often a positive and polite atmosphere, people are pleasant to each other, and they may have feelings of excitement, eagerness and positiveness.

Having a team with already existing collaborative skills can help resolve conflicts more easily and faster. “Resolved disagreements and personality clashes result in greater intimacy, and a spirit of co-operation emerges.”[4] This happens when the team is aware of competition and they share a common goal. In this stage, all team members take responsibility and have the ambition to work for the success of the team’s goals.

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Take a cue from the Atlassian Team Playbook and make time for these three activities. Click the name of each activity below to get step-by-step instructions and other https://www.globalcloudteam.com/ helpful resources like templates and videos. But understanding, managing, and communicating about finances can improve the quality of your life and relationships.

what are the 4 stages of team development

Your team starts to increase their productivity at this stage as they become more familiar with their teammates and their working styles. The team needs clarity and connection more than anything else at this stage. Take the time to call out assumptions about the work and (more importantly) how you’ll work together. Solving problems face-to-face instead of over email or chat is a good investment right now because you’ll get a richer sense of who your teammates are as people.

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Send a quick acknowledgment of your team’s progress through email. Start your weekly team meetings with kudos to recognize milestone achievements. Ask yourself if your company employs best practices in its employee engagement.

  • There’s a new initiative to run at and you’re keen to get started.
  • The team comes up with an idea to focus the training on five scenarios often found in the hospital.
  • Supervisors during this phase may be more accessible, but tend to remain directive in their guidance of decision-making and professional behaviour.
  • Team members must cooperate with each other and work collectively to achieve a better result for their team.
  • While increased conflict is natural at this stage, you may notice some relationships fracturing if the team can’t resolve their issues.
  • When your team has grown through the stages of team development they establish a state of “flow”.

By the time you arrive at the norming stage, your members will support and adhere to the team norms. Clearly state the team’s goals, objectives, timelines, and deadlines. Reiterate your business’s mission and values so the team can see how this project aligns with them. Here, leadership is tasked with evaluating the team’s effectiveness and acknowledging its members’ efforts, including any celebration or recognition to provide a sense of closure. Team members who have established close relationships with each other or who have identified a strong sense of connection with the project may struggle with this phase.

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Instead, promote a positive work environment by emphasizing instances and actions you appreciate and motivating your staff to exhibit more of the same. Positive reinforcement is noticeably more successful than criticizing specific people when it comes to improving team performance. The fifth stage of group development, also known as the mourning stage, is the final stage a team will go through.

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