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Ep.25 Bruce Tuckman’s 5 Stages of Team Development

Previously, I covered Social Contracts and how they help teams progress from the initial Forming stage towards Performing. This is based on Bruce Tuckman’s 5 Stages of Team Development model:

  1. FORMING: Team first meets and establishes ground rules. Formalities are preserved and members are treated as strangers.

  2. STORMING: Members start to communicate their feelings but still view themselves as individuals rather than part of the team. They resist control by group leaders and show hostility.

  3. NORMING: People feel part of the team and realise they can achieve things if they accept other viewpoints.

  4. PERFORMING: Team works in an open and trusting atmosphere where flexibility is the key and hierarchy is of little importance.

  5. ADJOURNING: Team’s mission achieved; plan for transitioning roles and recognising member's contributions.

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Each stage requires different leadership behaviours and has different success criteria.

Criticisms of the model

It’s too simplistic and doesn’t consider factors such as background, environment, consequences, and an individual’s role within a team. Reality also isn’t as linear as the model suggests. But hey, it’s a model and got you thinking!

This article was first published here.


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