Organization is the key. Be it a startup or a Fortune 500 company, they all thrive when there is excellent coordination amongst teams and a proper working model that they all follow. Symmetrical, if you may. We often see companies emphasizing the “culture”. Ever wonder why? What builds a company’s culture, after all? It’s the process they follow, in most cases, at least. The companies need to ensure that their teams are well-developed for smooth and successful working.
Let’s get real here, in every team’s development, they go through particular challenges. To overcome these challenges and reach a positive outcome, it is essential to have a structure—a trail to follow. As a team leader, you must chart out this trail. Create a path that your team can follow to come winning on the other side.
Most businesses demand and want a perfectly high-performance work team. They need many goal-focused individuals and have the expertise to collaborate, curate, and innovate a product or service that the company offers. This sounds easy, as we all hire such individuals on our teams - or at least, we try to.
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Why is team development significant?
To achieve business goals, business owners must see this as a priority. There needs to be a process built on each team member’s personality, communication method, and other factors. Through team development, team leaders can achieve the following:
When your team learns to work together effectively, their deliverables will be better quality and fast-paced.
Teams need to better themselves by understanding the need to utilize their strengths and skills. To make the right business choices, the team members must rely entirely upon them.
For teams to work together, it is essential to see each other as equals. They must see each other as props that they can use to make the most of the situation. They need to be comfortable contributing thoughts and opinions openly. And additionally, offer support when others do so.
Now that we have highlighted the importance. Let’s talk about the stages of development. These stages were created and curated by psychologist Bruce Tuckman to develop teams in the year 1965. However, in 1977, along with his student Mary Ann, they added another stage to this model. Popular by the name of “Tuckman’s Stages”, these are some steps every business must implement in their work strategies.
Five stages of team development
Here are Tuckman’s five stages to guide the leaders for better and seamless performance:
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The forming phase is when the team is being formed. This is the initial stage when the team members are being introduced to each other. It’s essential that the members feel enthusiastic and energetic to start working together, and they are determined to learn from each other in various ways. As for the team leader in this stage, the work is pretty well-defined. As a manager of these teams, you represent each member’s objectives, goals, vision, timeline, roles, and responsibilities to avoid confusion and provide clarity.
The storming phase is exactly how it sounds. This is when the disagreement happens. When the team members learn about each other’s opinions and start to disagree concerning the project and how things need to be done. This may arise because of the difference in personality, working styles, communication methods, organizational skills, and more. This happens because the team members are still trying to get to know each other. This is bound to happen. This is when the team leaders need to carefully handle the conflict and come up with a way to clarify misunderstandings.
This stage seems complicated, but it is essential that you absolutely do not avoid it. Some team leaders try to get past it, and it does come to bite you back in the next stages. So whenever you see a problem, don’t avoid it, solve it so that it becomes a practice.
The norming phase can be challenging if you have some unresolved issues in the team from the storming stage. It will be pretty evident and almost hard to ignore. Remember that you absolutely make it your duty to solve the conflict and find the best possible solution.
The norming phase occurs when the team members realize each other’s strengths and develop a much more relaxed approach to work together and make each different look best. They tend to become familiar, friendlier, and happier working around and with each other. This is the most essential part of the process.
Well, now that you have worked hard enough to make a group of individuals work together and like it - here comes the result stage, the performing stage. This is when your team is comfortable and can work together powerfully. The work processes are much more streamlined, and everyone knows what they are doing, in almost complete agreement. The team becomes much more appreciative of each other and can seamlessly get to the end goal together. This phase is self-sufficient, provided you worked through the first three phases like a good team leader.
In this stage, your team is motivated, confident, and happy with their responsibilities. And that is what matters.
All the above sounds easier than actually doing it. Why? Because people are different. And not one teammate would be similar to another. So you know, some of them are bound to fall apart or fall back, or simply resign from working with you or the team. What happens then? Then comes the fifth phase of team development - adjourning. We know it is not as fun rhyming this one. This occurs when the team members move on. It can be from their responsibilities, the company, or simply be disappointed that a specific project or experience is over. Please note that this phase might not always apply to all teams.
It’s essential to know the value of these phases as a team leader and team member. You are building a foundation, and it takes time. So don’t be disheartened if you fail the first few times.