Tag Archives: Bruce Tuckman

Team Work; Forming, Storming, Norming, Performing and Adjourning. Part 5 – Managing the Adjourning Stage

In a recent post at this link, I introduced the Tuckman theory of how groups/teams develop. Most groups go through a formation process like that described by Dr Tuckman. Understanding the model can help you to lead, manage and facilitate teams and work groups more effectively.

Some group leaders find the stages uncomfortable – they can be challenging to handle. Some stages seem slow and a waste of precious work time. But going through them means that a more cohesive and efficient working group is formed – a group that allows everyone to contribute their best!  A skilled manager can observe the stages happening and help the process along.  That means you get the best outcome for all, in the least time.

In this short series, I discuss how you can lead your group through the stages to achieve a good result.

In my last four posts in this series,  I discussed Stage 1 Forming, Stage 2 Storming, Stage 3 Norming and Stage 4 Performing. In Stage 1 we described how the group will be looking for ground rules. In Stage 2, they set about testing what they think those ground rules might be. In Stage 3, people begin to experience a sense of group belonging and a feeling of relief that conflicts are being resolved. In Stage 4 the group are high-performing, motivated and achieve effective and satisfying results. Now in Stage 5 the group is breaking up – hopefully with its purpose fulfilled.

Not all groups do complete their tasks but even so elements of the process described below need to be managed successfully.

Stage 5 – Adjourning

If the team leader has taken the advice set out for moving from Stage 4, the group will now have delivered the task.  The members can move on to new things carrying forward learning from this experience into their new work. But for that to be done successfully there is a change to be managed.

The break-up can be hard for members who have come to enjoy team routines or who have developed close working relationships with other team members.  People may feel very insecure and anxious about finding a new role.  It is important to celebrate and document what has been achieved and to make sure that all have a chance to share the learning from this group experience. Some group members may need particular support in moving forward. It can be a stressful period, particularly if the group is being broken up before its task is complete.

Leading the group through Stage 5 – Adjourning

What is the role of the leader? With a group in Stage 5, there is an opportunity to use a whole range of management skills.  You are dealing with conflicting emotions in yourself as well as in the team – these can include happiness and pride in a job complete, sadness at the dissolution and, even, anger if the group is being disbanded for less than noble reasons.

There may be some mundane but important tasks to complete around archiving and record keeping for governance purposes but team member may find it difficult to find the motivation to complete them,  Also encouraging honesty and sharing around lessons learned by the group during its lifetime, means that you need to keep the members’ trust. A positive outcome is you lead them to acknowledge the task is complete, accepting the best and worst of the process and then to let go and say goodbye

What could be problems in Stage 5 – Adjourning?

Team members may well have feelings of dislocation and loss.  People deal with their feelings in different ways.  You may find some lose motivation completely and start to avoid the necessary work.  Others may argue over minor details and you find them reverting to storming – old arguments re-surface.  Others may deny or try to pretend that isn’t really the end and find excuses to prolong the process. Leading/managing means being vigilant, identifying what is happening and intervening with understanding and support.

This is the end of this series on the Tuckman Model – Forming, Norming, Storming, Performing and Adjourning.  But I’d welcome your thoughts and your questions.  Please share your own experience of handling Stage 5. What lessons do you have to pass on to others?

Wendy Mason is a Life and Career Coach.  She helps people have the confidence they need to be successful at work and to change career while maintaining a good work/life balance. You can email her at wendymason @wisewolfcoaching.com
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Preparing for the Job Interview – Managing Teams

If you are preparing for a job interview as a manager, team leader or project manager you might be interested in a series of posts I’m writing on our sister blog, Wisewolf Talking.

In a recent post at this link, I introduced the Tuckman theory of how groups/teams develop (forming, storming, norming, performing and adjourning). Most groups go through a formation process like that described by Dr Tuckman. Understanding the model can help you to lead, manage and facilitate teams and work groups more effectively.

Some group leaders find the stages uncomfortable – they can be challenging to handle. Some stages seem slow and a waste of precious work time. But going through them means that a more cohesive and efficient working group is formed – a group that allows everyone to contribute their best!  A skilled manager can observe the stages happening and help the process along.  That means you get the best outcome for all, in the least time.

I’ve followed that initial post with posts on  Stage 1 FormingStage 2 Storming and Stage 3 Norming. In Stage 1 I described how the group will be looking for ground rules. In Stage 2, they set about testing what they think those ground rules might be. In Stage 3, people begin to experience a sense of group belonging and a feeling of relief that conflicts are being resolved.

This week I’ve written about Stage 4 - now the group are high-performing, motivated and achieve effective and satisfying results. Next week, all being well, I’ll be tackling the final stage, Adjourning.

I hope the material is useful to you and I’d welcome any comments you have to add from your own experience of team management.

Wendy Mason is a Life and Career Coach.  She helps people have
the confidence they need to be successful at work and to change career. She can help you – email her at
wendymason@wisewolfcoaching.com

Other useful articles

 

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Preparing for the Job Interview – Managing Teams

If you are preparing for a job interview as a manager, team leader or project manager you might be interested in a series of posts I’m writing on our sister blog, Wisewolf Talking.

In a recent post at this link, I introduced the Tuckman theory of how groups/teams develop (forming, storming, norming, performing and adjourning). Most groups go through a formation process like that described by Dr Tuckman. Understanding the model can help you to lead, manage and facilitate teams and work groups more effectively.

Some group leaders find the stages uncomfortable – they can be challenging to handle. Some stages seem slow and a waste of precious work time. But going through them means that a more cohesive and efficient working group is formed – a group that allows everyone to contribute their best!  A skilled manager can observe the stages happening and help the process along.  That means you get the best outcome for all, in the least time.

I’ve followed that initial post with posts on  Stage 1 FormingStage 2 Storming and Stage 3 Norming. In Stage 1 I described how the group will be looking for ground rules. In Stage 2, they set about testing what they think those ground rules might be. In Stage 3, people begin to experience a sense of group belonging and a feeling of relief that conflicts are being resolved.

This week I’ve written about Stage 4 - now the group are high-performing, motivated and achieve effective and satisfying results. Next week, all being well, I’ll be tackling the final stage, Adjourning.

I hope the material is useful to you and I’d welcome any comments you have to add from your own experience of team management.

Wendy Mason is a Life and Career Coach.  She helps people have
the confidence they need to be successful at work and to change career. She can help you – email her at
wendymason@wisewolfcoaching.com

Other useful articles

 

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Team Work; Forming, Storming, Norming, Performing and Adjourning. Part 4 – Managing the Performing Stage

Team Work; Forming, Storming, Norming, Performing and Adjourning. Part 4 – Managing the Performing Stage

 is a Career Coach and Life Coach helping you to solve difficult problems at work

In a recent post at this link, I introduced the Tuckman theory of how groups/teams develop. Most groups go through a formation process like that described by Dr Tuckman. Understanding the model can help you to lead, manage and facilitate teams and work groups more effectively.

Some group leaders find the stages uncomfortable – they can be challenging to handle. Some stages seem slow and a waste of precious work time. But going through them means that a more cohesive and efficient working group is formed – a group that allows everyone to contribute their best!  A skilled manager can observe the stages happening and help the process along.  That means you get the best outcome for all, in the least time.

In this short series, I discuss how you can lead your group through the stages to achieve a good result.

In my last three posts in this series,  I discussed Stage 1 Forming, Stage 2 Storming and Stage 3 Norming. In Stage 1 we described how the group will be looking for ground rules. In Stage 2, they set about testing what they think those ground rules might be. In Stage 3, people begin to experience a sense of group belonging and a feeling of relief that conflicts are being resolved. Now, in Stage 4 the group are high-performing, motivated and achieve effective and satisfying results.

Not all groups are able to reach Stage 4; they achieve the task but without ever truly excelling.

Stage 4 – Performing.

If the team leader has taken the advice set out for moving from Stage 3, the group will now be delivering the task with a high degree of openness, trust, confidence and autonomy.

The work itself is carried out to a high standard and the group take pride in group results and superior performance. Problems are seen as opportunities and they are tackled constructively.

The group can make decisions and solve problems quickly. People may challenge each other and there are can be healthy differences of opinion.  But these are resolved in a friendly manner.  The group has the confidence to review and revise work processes if necessary. New ways of doing things are considered and incorporated.

Leading the group through Stage 4 – Performing

What is the role of the leader? With a group in Stage 4, the leader does not need to be involved in decision-making, problem solving or the day-to-day work of the team. People now work effectively as a group. The leader monitors progress and celebrates achievements; this helps to maintain morale and the performance of the group. The leader is also the conduit for any strategic decisions which need to be made at a higher level, for the group to complete their work.

What if they don’t stay in Stage 4 – Performing?

There remains a possibility that the group could revert back to an earlier stage. For example, if someone leaves, new members join or one of the existing members starts to work independently or outside the rules (formal or informal) subscribed to by the rest of the group.  It is possible then for the team to revert back to an earlier stage, until they have come to term with the change or the issues are resolved. If this happens, the leader should become more actively engaged again.  This could mean more close supervision for a while and encouraging them to have the confidence to go back to trying out new ideas and working independently, while remaining part of the group. They need you to be a cheerleader again – encouraging your group and recognizing them for the good work they are doing.

Now we are moving towards completion of the task – the next post will be about Stage 5 Adjourning

I’d welcome your thoughts and your questions.  Please share your own experience of handling Stage 4. What lessons do you have to pass on to others?

236419442_80_807Wendy Mason is a Career Coach and Life Coach helping you to solve difficult problems at work
wendymason@wisewolfcoaching.com 
http://wisewolfcoaching.

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Team Work; Forming, Storming, Norming, Performing and Adjourning. Part 3 – Managing the Norming Stage

In a recent post at this link, I introduced the Tuckman theory of how groups/teams develop. Most groups go through a formation process like that described by Dr Tuckman. Understanding the model can help you to lead, manage and facilitate teams and work groups more effectively.

Some group leaders find the stages uncomfortable – they can be challenging to handle. Some stages seem slow and a waste of precious work time. But going through them means that a more cohesive and efficient working group is formed – a group that allows everyone to contribute their best!  A skilled manager can observe the stages happening and help the process along.  That means you get the best outcome for all in the least time.

In this short series, I discuss how you can lead your group through the stages to achieve a good result. In my two last posts in this series,  I discussed Stage 1 Forming and Stage 2 Storming. In Stage 1 we described how the group will be looking for some ground rules. In Stage 2, they set about testing what they think those ground rules might be. Now in Stage 3, people begin to experience a sense of group belonging and a feeling of relief that conflicts are being resolved.

Stage 3 – Norming.

If the team leader has taken the advice set out for moving from Stage 2, the group will now be resolving any conflicts which have arisen.  People become much less defensive and are willing to change their preconceived ideas or opinions on the basis of facts presented.  They ask questions of one another.   Leadership starts to be shared and cliques break up in the light of new information and new relationships.  A sense of group belonging emerges.

People share feelings and exchange ideas.  They explore possible actions for reaching the goals and creativity is high. They are on their way to being organized so that they can achieve their goals.

Trust builds and information flows well! Roles and responsibilities become clear and are accepted. Big decisions are made by group agreement and smaller decisions may be delegated to individuals or small teams within group. Commitment and unity are strong.

Leading the group through Stage 3 – Norming

What is the role of the leader?  The leader facilitates, enables and makes sure that data keeps flowing between group members.  Encourage the group by congratulating them when they listen to each other and work cooperatively. Now is the time to make sure they put in place detailed plans and systems, and standards, for completing the work. Encourage them to work together to achieve the task.

What if they get stuck in Stage 3 – Norming

Some groups stay in Stage 3 and complete the task with a degree of dependence on you as the team leader and others in the group.  The main danger of Stage 3 is  that members may begin to fear the inevitable future break-up of the group, so they may resist change of any sort.   This can mean they may not find novel and original solutions to problems.  Encourage the group to try out new ideas, and approaches, and to develop the confidence to work independently while remaining part of the group. Be a cheerleader – encourage your group and recognize them for the good work they are doing.

Now we are moving towards excellence  – the next post will be about Stage 4 Performing

I’d welcome your thoughts and your questions.  Please share your own experience of handling Stage 3. What lessons do you have to pass on to others?

Wendy Mason is a Life and Career Coach.  She helps people have the confidence they need to be successful at work and to change career while maintaining a good work/life balance. You can email her at wendymason @wisewolfcoaching.com
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Team Work; Forming, Storming, Norming, Performing and Adjourning. Part 2 – Managing the Storming Stage

In a recent post at this link, I introduced the Tuckman theory of how groups/teams develop. Most groups go through a formation process like that described by Dr Tuckman. Understanding the model can help you to lead, manage and facilitate teams and work groups more effectively.

Some group leaders find the stages uncomfortable – they can be challenging to handle. Some stages seem slow and a waste of precious work time. But going through them means that a more cohesive and efficient working group is formed – a group that allows everyone to contribute their best!  A skilled manager can observe the stages happening and help the process along.  That means you get the best outcome for all in the least time.

In this short series of posts, I discuss how you can lead your group through the stages to achieve a good result. In my last post (at this link) I discussed Stage 1 Forming. In Stage 1 we described how the group will be looking for some ground rules. In Stage 2, as you will see, they set about testing what they think those ground rules might be.

Stage 2 – Storming.

If the team leader has taken the advice set out for moving from Stage 1, the group will now have some goals.  But they are not yet organized so that they can achieve them.  By now they have been together long enough to stop needing to be on their best behaviour.

They may begin to debate how they should go forward. What are the priorities going to be and who is going to take which role in the team?  What systems and processes are going to be put in place?

Differences of opinion and beliefs can lead to conflict and they may begin to jockey for position. Power struggles may break out, particularly if you have a number of strong personalities vying to lead.  They may begin to challenge you as group leader and cliques may form.

Leading the group through Stage 2 – Storming

So what can you do?  The team needs to be focused on its goals to avoid becoming distracted by relationship and emotional issues.  Some compromises need to be made and you need to help them find the middle ground. You need to start selling ideas and the benefits of what you are trying to do.  There needs to be lots of communication. The group needs to understand the importance of the task, the processes needed and their roles.  If all is going well the group will move quickly through this stage to agree some “norms” for working together.

What if they get stuck in Stage 2 – Storming

If necessary, your may need to set down the ground rules for group behaviour and get the group to agree that they should treat each other with respect.  You need to keep a close eye on the debate – if it is about ideas, that is a good sign and they can be left to work it out if time allows. But if the debate becomes personal then you will need to intervene.  Don’t suppress conflict completely because the group will stagnate and not learn to work together very well.  This is where planning social events can help so that individuals begin to see each other in a more rounded way.

If necessary, tighten up the goals and targets!  Get the group to focus very sharply upon them and the benefits which will be lost if people are not prepared to compromise and reach agreement.  If cliques have formed, try putting people to work with others outside their chosen subgroup so that new relationships can be established.

Now we are moving towards the real work  – the next post will be about Stage 3 Norming

I’d welcome your thoughts and your questions.  Please share your own experience of handling Stage 2. What lessons do you have to pass on to others?

Wendy Mason is a Life and Career Coach.  She helps people have the confidence they need to be successful at work and to change career while maintaining a good work/life balance. You can email her at wendymason @wisewolfcoaching.com
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Team Work; Forming, Storming, Norming, Performing and Adjourning. Part 1 – Managing the Forming Stage


In a recent post at this link, I introduced the Tuckman theory of how groups/teams develop.

Most groups go through a formation process like that described by Dr Tuckman.

Understanding the model can help you to lead, manage and facilitate teams and work groups more effectively.

Some group leaders find the stages uncomfortable – they can be challenging to handle. Some stages seem slow and a waste of precious work time. But going through them means that a more cohesive and efficient working group is formed – a group that allows everyone to contribute their best!

A skilled manager can observe the stages happening and help the process along.  That means you get the best outcome for all in the least time.

In this short series of posts, I’m going to discuss how you can lead your group through the stages to achieve a good result.

Stage 1 – Forming.

When they first come together in a group, people are cautious.  Usually, they want to get to know each other and to get on with the task.  But, they might be a bit anxious.  They are usually tentative and tend to check each other out. Generally they are polite and somewhat reserved.

The group wants to work out how they should behave.  At this stage, they are not likely to challenge each other or you, as their leader. They want to understand properly why they are there – what is the task and what is this really about?  The group wants to know what they are being asked to do and how they expected to do it.

No one feel very comfortable – are there any hidden agendas?

They are looking for the “ground rules”.

This stage can feel frustrating for the leader because things can feel as if they are moving very slowly.

Leading the group through Stage 1 – Forming

So what can you do?  Well, you need to provide a safe environment in which the group can operate and you need to set some goals for them to achieve.

But let then have some time to get to know each other! Allow people an opportunity to share their hopes and their anxieties.  (You might recognise now why trained facilitators put so much store by ice-breakers).

If you pace the group carefully, they will move through this stage and not get stuck.  Encourage them all to contribute.

What if they get stuck in Stage 1 – Forming

If they get stuck then you will need to become more directive.

  • Involve them in setting the goals
  • Let them air their reservations.
  • Get those ground rules out in the open air
  • Get people to agree the ground rules.
  • Support anyone who shows reticence so that their confidence develops.

Then stand by because you need to go through Stage 2 Storming before the real work begins and Stage 2 can be turbulent.

Wendy Mason is a career coach.  She helps people reach their goals and aspirations, without sacrificing their home and personal life.  Before working as a coach, Wendy had a long career in both the public and private sectors in general management and consultancy as well as spells in HR.  She now divides her time between coaching and writing. You can contact Wendy at wendymason@wisewolfcoaching.com and find out more at http://wisewolfcoaching.com

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