1.3 Outline the stages of team development using a recognised model

Tuckman's four-stage model

 

The progression is:

  1. forming

  2. storming

  3. norming

  4. performing

 

The features of each phase:

Forming - stage 1

 

High dependence on leader for guidance and direction. Little agreement on team aims other than received from leader. Individual roles and responsibilities are unclear. Leader must be prepared to answer lots of questions about the team's purpose, objectives and external relationships. Processes are often ignored. Members test tolerance of system and leader. Leader directs (may be due to necessity).

Storming - stage 2

 

Decisions don't come easily within group. Team members vie for position as they attempt to establish themselves in relation to other team members and the leader, who might receive challenges from team members. Clarity of purpose increases but plenty of uncertainties persist. Cliques and factions form and there may be power struggles. The team needs to be focused on its goals to avoid becoming distracted by relationships and emotional issues. Compromises may be required to enable progress.

Norming - stage 3

 

Agreement and consensus is largely forms among team, who respond well to facilitation by leader. Roles and responsibilities are clear and accepted. Big decisions are made by group agreement. Smaller decisions may be delegated to individuals or small teams within group. Commitment and unity is strong. The team may engage in fun and social activities. The team discusses and develops its processes and working style. There is general respect for the leader and some of leadership is more shared by the team.

 

Performing - stage 4

 

The team is more strategically aware; the team knows clearly why it is doing what it is doing. The team has a shared vision and is able to stand on its own feet with no interference or participation from the leader. There is a focus on over-achieving goals, and the team makes most of the decisions against criteria agreed with the leader. The team has a high degree of autonomy. Disagreements occur but now they are resolved within the team positively and necessary changes to processes and structure are made by the team. The team is able to work towards achieving the goal, and also to attend to relationship, style and process issues along the way. Team members look after each other. The team requires delegated tasks and projects from the leader. The team does not need to be instructed or assisted. Team members might ask for assistance from the leader with personal and interpersonal development.

Hersey and Blanchard's Situational Leadership model

The classic Situational Leadership model of management and leadership style also illustrates the ideal development of a team from immaturity (stage 1) through to maturity (stage 4) during which management an leadership style progressively develops from relatively detached task-directing (1), through the more managerially-involved stages of explanation (2) and participation (3), to the final stage of relatively detached delegation (4), at which time ideally the team is largely self-managing, and hopefully contains at least one potential management/leadership successor.

The aim of the leader or manager is therefore to develop the team through the four stages, and then to move on to another role.

Ironically this outcome is feared by many managers. However, good organizations place an extremely high value on leaders and managers who can achieve this.

The model also illustrates four main leadership and management styles, which a good leader is able to switch between, depending on the situation (i.e., the team's maturity relating to a particular task, project or challenge.)

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