5 Stages of Group Development
Developing an effective team comes with challenges and expectations at every stage of its development. An effective team must go through five development stages, namely, forming, storming, norming, performing, and adjourning. That was the case with the environmental cleaning team we formed. At the forming stage, different roles for team members were identified in the process. Each team member was assigned a specific role to play in the environmental cleaning team at the forming stage. I was assigned the role of a team leader with the specific role of supervising other team members.
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At the forming stage, each team member was enthusiastic about knowing other team members and the purpose of setting up the team. As a leader, my role was to guide team members and ensure information was presented to each team member. To be an effective leader at the forming stage, I had to ensure the team set down objectives and goals. One of the objectives was to identify specific areas to carry out the cleaning task. Another objective was to assign each team member a specific role to play, among other objectives that were set at the forming stage. At the forming stage team members were characterized by poor listening. Objectives that were not clear and specific, team members could not express themselves openly, and they were characterized by low morale.
As the team leader, I was faced with the challenge of addressing these issues to move the team to the next level. Therefore, I encouraged team members to continue working, transforming itself into the next storming stage. At the storming stage, more challenges were experienced. Conflicts were frequently observed, team cohesion was low, and team members could openly express their resentments. Sometimes inconsistency characterized team members.
Each time, as a team leader, I continuously devised methods to resolve conflicts between team members and ensure the team was run smoothly. One such example was when a team member expressed his frustrations and disappointments about not having been assigned the post of a team secretary. I resolved the complaint by engaging in effective communication with the team members enabling him to appreciate the current holder of the post.
Moving on, under my leadership, the team established rules and codes of conduct governing team activities. I had to ensure team resolutions were effectively adhered to while at the storming stage by establishing an effective communication channel and feedback.
That allowed the group to move on to the next stage. At the norming stage, the whole team was characterized by reviewing team objectives and evaluating team performance. We established benchmarks to assess the team’s effectiveness. As a team leader, I had to ensure team members carried out their activities effectively against established objectives. One such example was to assess the total area cleaned against the set objectives. That allowed the team to move on to the next performing stage where each team member was allowed to express themself and contribute creatively to the team. Each team member could be proud of the achievements made thus far. As a team leader, I had to communicate clearly to the team on our expectations, what we had achieved, and what we had to do to achieve more.
That still allowed the team to move on to the next stage. Each transition to the next level called for my team leadership abilities to ensure team members remained cohesive, and the transition was effective.
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As the group came to its end, it was important for the team leader to appraise team members for their work by identifying each member’s role in the team development process. It was a challenging role as every stage required active involvement from the team leader in solving conflicts and other coming up challenges.
Characteristics of Effective Teams
The overall performance of the team led the team members to tag it as a successful team. The team was characterized by a clear purpose. The purpose was spelled in the team’s objectives, goals, and mission statement. The mission was to have a clear and pollution-free environment. Each team member was actively involved in active participation, and the team was characterized by shared leadership as a third characteristic.
The purpose of the team was to be actively involved in cleaning the environment and serve as a role model for others to adopt. Each team member could get actively involved in my leadership in identifying areas that needed cleaning and be spiritedly involved in the cleaning process. Every cleaning activity was coordinated by the team leader within the team.
Another element that uniquely characterized the team was participation. Through effective leadership, team members were encouraged to actively participate and contribute to the success of the team. Everyone was encouraged to participate at different levels of team development. The team leader’s responsibility was to encourage and inspire team members with new ideas and opinions while providing leadership. Each member’s contribution was positively regarded, and open censure was discouraged. Rules and codes of conduct were set while a team culture was developed in the process.
Shared leadership was a distinguishing mark for all team members. Decision making, sharing of skills, and skills transfer characterized open or shared leadership. Each team member was required to have the responsibility of studying and adhering to group values and norms. Each team member had the responsibility of valuing other team members and show leadership at every stage of team development.
Roles Required for Effective Team Functioning
An effective team building process integrated different roles to ensure the team becomes effective. In our team’s development process, I played the role of maintaining and building the team. Each time conflicts arose, I endeavored to address the core cause of the problem by identifying its source. I further made every effort to ensure that members involved in any conflict were brought together, and effective communication was used to elicit understanding. A problem well expressed was a problem half solved. I also made sure amicable compromises were reached between parties involved in any conflict.
Each member was allowed to contribute to the solutions and I took the role of a gatekeeper to ensure the change was accepted by parties in conflict. I further encouraged the use of incentives by establishing a climate of acceptance within the team members. Each team member’s opinion was respected and contributions were positively discussed with a keenness of fairness to ensure Fairplay. Members were further encouraged to contribute to the conflict resolution process. As a team leader, I created a positive perspective on all opinions contributed by team members at every stage to ensure an effective team.