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We have all worked in a group or team at some point in our careers. A  team is brought together to achieve a common goal. The team needs to  have members who have complementary skills and who are committed to a  common purpose to achieve performance goals. However, teams don’t move  immediately toward performing, but instead evolve over time. There are  five stages of group and team development.

  1. Forming – Getting oriented and getting acquainted. High degree  of uncertainty as members as they try to figure out who is in charge.
  2. Storming – Personalities start to emerge, along with roles and conflicts within the group.
  3. Norming – In the third stage conflicts are resolved, relationships developed, harmony and unity surfaces.
  4. Performing – The members concentrate on solving problems and completing the assigned task.
  5. Adjourning – Members prepare to disband. Some members may be reassigned, terminated from the group or the group is resolved.

Think about a time when you joined a new group . . . it could be at work, in a family setting or with a social group.

  • Which of the five stages was the most challenging for the group to work through, and why?
  • How might you have helped the group work through that stage  differently based upon what you know now about the five stages of group  and team development?