Forming, Storming, Norming and Performing
Tuckman's Model to drive a team to high performanceNovember 25, 2023 - 606 words - 4 mins Found a typo? Edit me
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.
- Provide clear direction and guidance
- Clearly define team goals, roles, and expectations
- Act as a facilitator, encouraging open communication and helping team members get to know each other.
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.
- Facilitate conflict resolution
- Acknowledge and address conflicts constructively
- Encourage open and honest communication while guiding the team through the process of understanding and appreciating diverse perspectives
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.
- Foster collaboration and inclusivity
- Encourage team members to establish norms and values collectively
- Recognize and celebrate individual strengths, fostering a sense of unity and mutual respect
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.
- Empower autonomy and trust
- Provide opportunities for team members to take ownership of tasks and projects
- Foster an environment where individuals feel confident in their abilities and can collaborate seamlessly
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.
- Acknowledge achievements and provide closure
- Recognize the team’s accomplishments and express gratitude for individual contributions
- Facilitate a reflective session to capture lessons learned and create a positive closure experience
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.
- Dare to lead by Brené Brown
- Turn the ship around! by L. David Marquet
- The Five Dysfunctions of a Team by Patrick M. Lencioni