Tuckman’s forming, storming, norming, and performing model
This article aims to explain Tuckman’s forming, storming, norming, and performing model of group development. The model was developed in 1965 by Bruce Tuckman, an American psychologist. It is also widely known as Tuckman’s stages of group development.
Tuckman’s stages of group development
Tuckman suggested that all teams go through a four-stage development process starting from forming and ending in performing. However, at a later stage, he also developed another stage called ‘adjourning’. According to the author, all teams go through a relatively unproductive initial stage before becoming an effective and self-reliant unit.
Forming happens when the group is created, and the members of the team meet with each other for the first time. In this stage, the members explore the purpose of the team and what and how they can contribute to the team. The team leader’s responsibility at this stage is to allow sufficient time and provide a suitable atmosphere in which team members can get to know one another and observe the emerging dynamics. However, it is usual that very little progress will be made as people will be focusing on getting to know one another and trying to make a good impression (BBC, 2020).
At this stage, team members are comfortable in expressing their opinions as the group relaxes into a more comfortable team setting. However, interpersonal issues or opposing opinions may arise to cause conflicts as storming often starts where there is a conflict between the team members’ working styles, and opinions. Therefore, the team leader’s role now is to openly encourage the necessary interaction. Upon capable and effective leadership, the team can work through the disagreements and enter the next stage.
Once conflicts have been dealt with and overcome, the team enters the norming stage where a feeling of group cohesion develops. Team members now have learned to respect each other and have skills and abilities to resolve any disagreements. At this stage, the team leader builds on this unity and helps the team understand the team’ values and norms.
The most productive in Tuckman’s stages of group development is performing. At this stage, team members set aside personal differences and work towards achieving team goals as they are very clear on what they are expected to do. Communication, collaboration, cohesion, and solidarity are the key features of this stage. As stated above, this is the most productive stage where the team leader should maintain the balance between various members’ requirements.
This stage is marked by termination and consolidation where the team reviews their activities and evaluates their progress. Here the team leader summarizes the group’s accomplishments and the roles each member played in the team efforts. It is important to provide conclusions so that each member leaves with a sense of accomplishment
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Last update: 01 March 2020
BBC (2020) Team stage model, available at: https://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize/guides/z9qc9qt/revision/4 (accessed 25 February 2020)
Photo credit: Pixabay
Author: M Rahman
M Rahman writes extensively online with an emphasis on business management, marketing, and tourism. He is a lecturer in Management and Marketing. He is a graduate of Leeds Metropolitan University and London South Bank University.