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Forming, Storming, Norming and Performing

Tuckman's Model to drive a team to high performance

November 25, 2023 - 606 words - 4 mins Found a typo? Edit me
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In 1965, psychologist Bruce Tuckman developed a model (Tuckman’s Model) that describes the stages of group development, forming and maturing into a cohesive and effective team.

The model initially consisted of four stages: “forming, storming, norming, and performing,” adding one additional “adjourning” in 1977.

It’s important to note that teams may not always progress through these stages linearly, and they might revert to a previous stage under certain circumstances.


In this initial stage, team members are polite, tentative, and unsure about their roles. There is a reliance on the leader for guidance.

Goal: Members are getting to know each other, and there is a focus on defining the team’s purpose, goals, and roles.

Leadership approach


Conflict and disagreement emerge as team members start to express their individuality. There may be power struggles and challenges to the leader’s authority.

Goal: The team clarifies its goals, members learn to resolve conflicts and address differences constructively.

Leadership approach



Cohesion begins to develop, and team members establish norms and values. Roles become clearer, and there is a sense of unity.

Goal: The team strives to establish norms, values, and a shared understanding. Members learn to appreciate each other’s strengths and weaknesses.

Leadership approach


The team is highly functional, with a focus on achieving its goals. Members work collaboratively, trust each other, and are mutually supportive.

Goal: The team is committed to its common purpose and operates at a high level of efficiency and effectiveness.

Leadership approach

Adjourning (or Mourning)

This stage involves the completion of the task or project. Team members may experience a sense of loss as the group disbands.

Goal: Acknowledge and celebrate the team’s achievements, provide closure, and reflect on the overall experience.

Leadership approach


To develop a team to a high-performance level using Tuckman’s Model, leaders should be aware of the stages and adapt their leadership style accordingly.

This involves providing guidance and structure during the forming stage, facilitating conflict resolution during storming, fostering collaboration and communication during norming, empowering autonomy during performing, and recognizing achievements during adjourning.

Regular communication, team-building activities, and constructively addressing conflicts are crucial throughout the process.

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