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Norming, Storming or Performing? Start Managing Team Dynamics.

Published 27th September 2016 by Thomas Bale
Team Dynamics

Like every individual, every team also goes though stages of development. Being aware of, and managing transition through each stage, is an essential leadership skill when building a high performing team. 

Tuckerman’s Four Stages of Development Model will help you to open up the floor for constructive discussions so you can make a plan to move forward. You can use it at three levels: organisational, team and individual. Why not work through the list below, marking the areas that apply to your team. It will help you understand team dynamics and identify which stage you are at, to ensure that you maintain performance.

Which stage of maturity is your team currently at?

Forming... Are you?

  • Moderately eager with high expectations of change
  • Aware strong characters may test the situation
  • Anxious as people try to establish where they fit into a new situation
  • In need of strong, effective leadership that demonstrates commitment and helps contextualise the ‘big picture’

Storming… Are you?

  • Aware of a disconnect between your hopes and daily reality
  • Feeling incompetent and confined
  • Feeling frustrated about goals, tasks and actions
  • Competing for power and/or attention
  • Reacting negatively towards leaders/other members
  • Feeling abandoned

Norming... Are you?

  • Using ‘team’ language
  • Sharing responsibility and control
  • Developing a new culture of harmony, trust, support and respect
  • Resolving conflict constructively and matching expectation with reality
  • Decreasing dissatisfaction
  • Developing new skills, confidence and self-esteem

Performing… Are you?

  • Performing at a high level (quality and output)
  • Working collaboratively with other teams and inter-dependently with others
  • Using processes and practices that are refined and in place
  • Sharing leadership and collective responsibility
  • Confident, with a strong team identity

Download a template to score your own team against each of the four stages.  

© Bruce Tuckman 1965 original 'Forming-storming-norming-performing' concept.