Boosting Team Performance
at Every Stage
Managers and supervisors of diverse groups of people continually encounter a vexing problem: how to turn their groups into highly effective teams. Time and time again they come to the realization: Successful teams don’t just happen. The business and professional landscape is littered with the ruins of failed team efforts. Many group leaders shrug and hope for the best. Others blame the failures on unresolvable conflicts, personality differences, lack of communication, ineptitude, inertia. Still others employ trial and error methods, refocusing goals, shuffling personnel. And still the problems continue, especially for leaders who want teams to be self-motivating without constant supervision.
Group Dynamix is an industry leader in helping teams become successful and understand the challenges these leaders face. Drawing on 20 years of expertise, we have developed customized solutions with a variety of tools to help teams reach maximum performance, ranging from small family-owned enterprises to Fortune 500 corporations.
Our mission of helping companies build successful teams incorporates the precepts of a groundbreaking paper, “Tuckman’s Stages of Group Development” by Bruce Wayne Tuckman, professor of educational psychology at Ohio State University. After he researched the problems of getting people to work together as teams, Professor Tuckman arrived at some surprising conclusions — the problems that seem to hinder productivity are actually assets, if properly channeled, and part of a necessary flow of team development. He identified four stages, each with its own challenges and opportunities, that are necessary to transform a group into a team. The stages of this “Tuckman Model” are memorably named Forming, Storming, Norming, and Performing. He later added a fifth stage called Adjourning which we also refer to as Reforming if the team remains intact and is given a new mission. These stages are as natural and normal as the development of an infant into a mature adult.
But just as an individual can’t reach maturity without guidance, so it is with teams. That’s where we come in. Group Dynamix has a distinct set of resources and skills that assist teams through the Tuckman Model, no matter what stage the team is in.
“Tuckman’s Stages of Group Development” recognizes the complicated nature of human interaction, turning what could be obstacles into tools: from acknowledging and addressing the initial awkwardness and uncertainty of the Forming Stage to working through the personal agendas and conflicts of the Storming Stage. Properly managed, the emerging team finds its way cleared for the forging of true bonds, mutual trust, and collaborative efforts in the Norming Stage, ultimately achieving the shared purpose and efficiency that characterizes real teamwork of the Performing Stage.
Although the Tuckman model describes the four stages as a natural development of groups, it also tells us that development can’t be left to chance. Team leaders must be aware of the stages, acquire the skills and wisdom to guide their teams through the process, overcoming setbacks, celebrating victories, emerging as a stronger team. It’s an exciting journey.
Whether you are beginning that journey or are well on your way and need some guideposts to direct you, Group Dynamix has the expertise, facilities, and resources to move you through the four stages of team development to achieve a high-functioning performing team.
And if you are wondering which of the four stages your team is experiencing, our assessment tool will guide you through a series of questions about how your team functions. No matter where you are in the team building process, a candid evaluation of your group will give you insight about where you are and what tools you need to reach your goals.