Forming, Storming, Norming, and Performing
Learn how to use this simple model to help your new team become effective quickly.
In a perfect world, new team members would work effortlessly together from day one. They would get along, communicate, and productively focus on the team's mission.
Unfortunately, we live in the real world. And, as we know, it takes time for teams to reach peak effectiveness.
Psychologist Bruce Tuckman first identified four stages of team formation in the mid sixties. These are Forming, Storming, Norming, and Performing. They describe the process teams go through as people form bonds and learn to work together effectively.
In the Forming stage, most team members are positive and polite, but some of them might feel anxious. During this period, people make an effort to get to know each other.
The next stage is Storming. At this time, people push against boundaries. There is often conflict around personalities and different working styles, as people become frustrated with one another's differences in approach. Some people might even question the team's goals, and avoid taking on tasks. Some teams never make it past the Storming stage.
The third stage is Norming. This is when people start to resolve their differences, build on one another's strengths, and respect you as a leader.
The last stage is Performing. Your team members reach this stage when they are able to achieve the group's goal without friction. As a leader at this stage, you can delegate more work and spend time developing each person to be the best they can be.
Most teams go through each of these stages, and there's a lot you can do as a leader to speed the process up, and help your people get to the Performing stage faster.
To learn more about guiding your team through each stage, see the article that accompanies this video.