Team Development Stages, Barriers, and Strategies

In 1966, a psychologist named Bruce Tuckman explained how healthy teams hold together over time. He went ahead and explained that teams undergo five stages of development. That is, forming, storming, norming, performing, and adjourning. This group of team developments represents a step on the team-building ladder. This team can work towards a common goal when they twist their random meeting of strangers into high-performing teams. Below are the five explained stages of group development.

The forming stage is the first stage of group development, and some compare it to a new job or the first day in a new school. At this point, group members are polite and excited about what the future holds for them. The head of the team takes charge of directing other members before establishing team roles (Lacerenza et al., 2018). At this stage, team members may discuss project goals, general rules, individual parts, and members’ skills. As the team carries out its activity, members should understand the roles and responsibilities that each person plays in the group because the duties will begin to form.

The second stage of the group development stage is the storming stage. In this stage, every member faces the reality of completing the task assigned to them (Lacerenza et al., 2018). The feeling of excitement and politeness had by group members is not experienced in this stage. In this setting, conflict is familiar, as team members may clash over the working styles of others. The occurrence of incidents like this causes doubts about the team’s leadership and the goals discussed in the group’s formation (Kirk-Lawlor & Allred, 2017). Those working hard may get discouraged by such incidents because people do not work as planned. It is better to solve the problems early enough than to avoid them.

The norming stage of development comes in as the third stage. At this level, the members reduce their disagreement and start recognizing their fellow teammate’s efforts and leaders’ respect (Giedraitis & SkirpstaitÄ—, 2017). As they bond with other group members, teammates work together to accomplish tasks as a cohesive unit. Group members may want to go back to the storming stage when they are given a difficult task. When a problem occurs, solving it will be easier because there will be an understanding between teammates, making it easier to dispute.

Another stage in group development is the performing stage which is the fourth stage. Of all the stages in group development, it is the happy stage for teammates (Obiri-Yeboah & Tibbin, 2017). There is no conflict in this stage, as members are self-dependent and positive in their skills to solve a problem without the involvement of the leaders. Workers are confident and motivated with their duty increasing their performance at work.

Adjourning is the last stage in group development, and it is also referred to as the sorrow stage of all in group development. This stage comes to an end when the project team completes its project (Kirk-Lawlor & Allred, 2017). It is also referred to as the “mourning phase,” as team members feel the loss of other members after building a solid bond over some time. This phase is usually compared to people engaging in a relationship. The engaged teams find it challenging to separate after engaging in a relationship for a long time.

When involved in teamwork, some barriers may arise, causing the effectiveness of its performance. The team’s productivity is affected when its leadership is doubtful (Giedraitis & SkirpstaitÄ—, 2017). The goals of a group are achieved when the administration decides to establish policies to help govern the partnership and help attain the goals set. Oversight of the association needs a person with vision and running an organization (Lacerenza et al., 2018). The operation of the group is affected when the leaders do not take action toward goal achievement.

Poor goal planning is the second barrier to teamwork towards achieving the goal set by members. The group’s big dreams can be achieved when the proper means to tackle tasks are put in place. Dividing huge tasks into smaller portions can be the most efficient way of dealing with such duties (Kirk-Lawlor & Allred, 2017). When a team does not have a clear pattern of doing its obligations, members will not utilize their abilities and talent to achieve the set goals.

Thirdly, poor communication among the group constitutes a barrier to effective teamwork. When having effective communication, each member is entitled to address the group at any given time, and they get listened to without personal agendas (Obiri-Yeboah & Tibbin, 2017). Having a poor communication structure in the organization indicates that members will not receive information at the required time. The bonding between teammates is not attained because of the poor communication of the group.

To overcome barriers, the group leader has to delegate duties effectively to avoid doing some responsibilities by themselves. They should give work to other members to help complete significant projects for the group to avoid delaying the project (Kirk-Lawlor & Allred, 2017). Upon assigning teammates duties, group leaders check their average progress on the task assigned. After receiving their submissions, leaders give feedback on the work done as a form of recognition.

Conflict is one of the barriers experienced in group development, and there are ways to handle them to have a thriving group. One needs to explain to group members how people should conduct themselves and inform members of the behavior that is not acceptable in the group (Lacerenza et al., 2018). By encouraging individual responsibilities, teammates can find a way to solve a conflict between themselves. To prevent such incidents, holding reviews will help by acting as a reminder to them.

To overcome barriers, building trust between team members strengthens the confidence among team members. Good results in the group are obtained with the help of faith. Good trust is made based on openness, accountability, regular communication, and demonstrating trust to teammates (Lacerenza et al., 2018). When the leader trusts his teammates, the same happens to those who get the confidence back. Trust reduces the chances of a barrier occurring in such an environment.

When conflict arises in the working environment, it is essential to involve the leadership to solve the battle between the teammates (Obiri-Yeboah & Tibbin, 2017). For the dispute to be settled, the person involved in resolving the problem should listen to both people keenly and better understand other people’s views. Accepting that the conflict the occurrence of conflict helps the team in moving forward. The willingness to solve a dispute and work together as teammates helps in strengthening their relationships.

Another way of conflict resolution among the group is by communicating and also listening to them. It is vital to allow each person involved in the conflict to express their views without interrupting them (Kirk-Lawlor & Allred, 2017). While they air their views, concentrate, and understand how the other party feels while still speaking out. Having open communication will help in making the decision correctly without favoring one party.

Shared decision-making is an activity that provides school members with an opportunity to collaborate when solving a problem. The leading purpose of shared decision-making is to enable students to improve instructional programs and deliver support (Giedraitis & SkirpstaitÄ—, 2017). Schools are given opportunities to explore ways of rearranging the delivery of command and services to meet the needs of students. Those involved in decision-making must be accountable for their results.


Lacerenza, C. N., Marlow, S. L., Tannenbaum, S. I., & Salas, E. (2018). Team development interventions: Evidence-based approaches for improving teamwork. American Psychologist, 73(4), 517. Web.

Giedraitis, A., Stašys, R., & Skirpstaitė, R. (2017). Management team development opportunities: A case of Lithuanian furniture company. Entrepreneurship and Sustainability Issues, 5(2), 212-222. Web.

Obiri-Yeboah, J., & Tobbin, P. (2017). Team work as a vital element for outstanding outcome: A case study in a Ghanaian Mine. Open Journal of Business and Management, 5(02), 366. Web.

Kirk-Lawlor, N., & Allred, S. (2017). Group development and integration in a cross-disciplinary and intercultural research team. Environmental Management, 59(4), 665-683. Web.

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