Second of a four part series reviewing Stages of Group Development.
Following the Forming stage, the once polite conversation of a new team is replaced with discord and uncertainty. Everyone, especially the leader, will need encouragement during this tumultuous phase. Bruce Tuckman suggests there are five stages of Group Development. This second stage is called Storming, which occurs when:
The team clarifies its goals and its strategy for achieving them. ~ Boundless.com
It is during this stage that group members feel like the board game becomes unstable and the game pieces start to jockey for position. Let’s focus on the good, the bad, and the leader of this phase of team building:
- THE GOOD: Despite its name, the Storming stage does have some positive characteristics. Group members are building resolution to many of the questions presented in the Forming stage. The team is growing stronger and becoming aware of its versatility.
- THE BAD: Leader’s know the Storming stage can be the most challenging. The team becomes overwhelmed. People begin to doubt the mission and start testing boundaries. Conflict arises and productivity suffers. Power struggles are apparent and cliques start forming.
THE LEADER: While a new team is Storming, the leader is tempted to schedule vacation or start looking for a new job! The team desperately needs focus on its goals, compromise, and conflict management. During this time, the leader must encourage tolerance, patience, and reiterate goals.
Though it may be the most dreaded stage of team development, the team is learning about their strengths and seeking confirmation of the mission. The “Stage 2” leader must persevere regardless of the seemingly infinite difficulties. It is hard to detect, but many of the dilemmas posed are actually getting resolved.
|ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Michelle Sugerman, an Executive Business Consultant with Leading Synergies, helps high-performing executives refine strategy, inspire teams, and delight clients (specializing in information technology, project management, consulting, and franchise management). She also leads Synergy Groups, weekly 55-minute case study conference calls for REALLY BUSY Christians in leadership. Michelle lives in Colorado where she hikes fourteeners and enjoys gourmet meals with her loving husband of 20 years.|