The developmental pattern of Bruce Tuckman’s team is well known, and you’ve probably read about it at least once. In this article, we will present a different approach to the team development process, which is rooted in the model of the stages of team development.
Our goal is to show you how to recreate and connect the work process that has existed in the team environment so far to create a ground for the development of your employees.
None of us, including me, ever do great things. But we can all do small things, with great love, and together we can do something wonderful. Mother Teresa
Summary of the five stages of team development of Bruce Tuckman
Formating stage. A successful manager-coach will ensure that each member of the team is responsible and understands the team’s goals, role, and responsibilities, and the approach that will ensure his personal and team success. You should know that no matter how high the level of agreement and adherence to what is discussed between colleagues, many of them will have different interpretations of what is agreed upon. You cannot avoid these contradictions, but you can control them by going through the other stages of development.
Storming stage. Once disagreements escalate, you need to assemble the team to dispel any concerns and disagreements quickly. The main behavioural characteristics you need are to be strong, directive, but also fair. The team needs guidance at this point, and people will need to hear things they may not want to hear.
Vital: Never be rude in formulating criticism. Read more: How Managers And Teams Can Enhance Workplace Dynamics During Stressful Situations.
Let the team feel the ‘pain’ of constructive criticism, and then begin the healing team development process that will make it easier for members to come together and flourish.
Norming stage. In this phase, you need to spend time with employees, starting to train them about their roles in the team and the tasks they have to perform. At the same time, please encourage them to take advantage of additional opportunities in the workplace to develop the team to the next level with individual and team achievements.
Performing stage. A successful business is a combination of proper organization of available resources and good training. At this stage, you have already created one of the elements of a successful business – a growing team. It is time to take a step back and let the team govern itself, continuing to be with them and remain in a mentoring role for both the whole team and individual members. Read more: How To Build an Outstanding Manager-Employee Relationship In 7 Steps.
Important steps in building a new team
One of the biggest challenges for a manager is to lead his team through the various stages of development. If the manager has no experience with team dynamics (or is minimal), then taking on a team and leading it can be a very stressful experience.
In this article, we will introduce you to an interesting and detailed model for the development of your team. These steps are also useful for existing teams that are interested in evaluating their work and improving efficiency.
How to create a team development process as a professional
People work harder when they enjoy their work, but how can you, as a manager/employer, find out if your employees feel satisfied with their work and working conditions?
Through the team development process of organizational development, you will identify all areas in the company where you can increase employee satisfaction through some improvement.
This will allow you to create a positive company culture so that employees feel valued and excited to do their best work.
How is organizational development similar to team development?
The name is Richard Beckhard, and the year is 1969. Do these two things mean anything to you? This year, Richard Beckhard gives the first definition of organizational development:
The development of the organization is an effort, planned, organized, and managed from above, to increase the efficiency and health of the organization through planned interventions in the “processes” of the organization, using knowledge of behavioural sciences.
Change is an inherent property of evolution and applies to both organizations and individuals. It is more complicated with organizations and teams, as these are complex units with different departments working in tandem and on a large scale. To bring about change, all of these interactions must be balanced to reduce crashes, and Beckhard was one of the first to introduce such a system through which all organizations can perceive a chance to thrive.
Of course, business practices and the definition of organizational development continue to change, and today they are perceived as continuing positive changes made in the organization. They are action-oriented and enable managers and leaders to:
- They create a culture of improvement.
- They change and adapt their business practices to build a healthy and positive work environment
When and why should you use team development?
You can use team development at any time to create a positive change in your team, but it must be planned. The development of the team brings with it a positive change in several areas of business operations:
- Conflict management. Team development can help identify ways to deal with interpersonal and interpersonal conflicts.
- Strategic planning for future growth. Ingenuity during team development helps you identify the steps to effectively achieve rapid growth in the results achieved by your department.
- Align the team to the same goal while maintaining employee efficiency.
- Evaluation of the company culture. During the team development process, you can understand the strengths and areas to improve in your team’s work environment.
All these achievements are only part of the dozens in the magazine, but make no mistake! Implementing them takes time and effort. The most important thing is to follow the right steps to create an effective team development process of organizational development.
How can you develop a successful team?
Six elements are critical in helping teams function effectively.
1) Formulate your team mission
The mission statement describes the “why” the organization exists and is used in conjunction with the vision statement of the decision-making team, which reflects the importance of what the business is trying to achieve. The shared commitment to this particular team mission helps to form and unite employees in a team. Together with the team, you have to answer the questions:
- What is the work we are gathered for?
- Why can this work be best done in a team?
- What will be different as a result of our joint work?
- What will our work create for our organization, our team, and ourselves?
- What does a successful result look like for our team? How will we know that we have accomplished our task?
- How will we measure our success on an ongoing basis?
The team’s mission can be based on and led by a directive from management or others outside the team, but an in-depth discussion in the team about how each member – and the group together – understands the overall mission will make the statement complete, meaningful, and useful for each member.
2) Define your team objectives and goals
The team development mission statements provide guiding principles for the team, but the objectives give the team an idea of how to accomplish this mission step by step. Every conscious and truly achievable goal has the following characteristics:
- It is specific – Shorter response time and confirmation of software demo requests
- It is measurable with percentages / figures / some value – Faster by 15%
- It is realistic and achievable – After trial/error testing, team members can refine the goal to be within current capabilities
- It is important – Tk you need to be sure for whom a situation is a problem and whether the chosen way of improvement will be sufficient for the development of the team and the improvement of its activity.
- It has a predetermined deadline – You can’t chase a goal forever, so set a deadline.
3) Delegate work to the team efficiently with roles and responsibilities
In a team environment, team members need to know what is expected of each of them; otherwise, you cannot develop mutual accountability or trust with each other. An ingenious way to illustrate this distinction between roles is with the production line:
The product of your team is the task assigned to it. The number one person is the one who takes over the initial stage of creating the product. He shapes it with the available materials and passes it to person number two, who refines the details of the shape and grinds the main elements of the product. Man number 3 with sandpaper smooths the shape of the product and creates additional elements such as swords, armour, and other appliances. Person number four puts (integrates) these additions to the product and adjusts them for their respective role. Person number five tests the overall performance of the product and hands it over to person number six, who prepares it for distribution.
All this should be supervised by a team leader responsible for the results of the work. The team leader is often in the role of a pimp and is responsible for coordinating the work of the team. The other – setting the agenda for team meetings, their conduct, formation and grouping of tasks, and others.
4) Create your team basic rules
To be effective in their development, teams need to understand how they will work together clearly, and for satisfying teamwork, the rules and guidelines for specific behaviour are most important. The team does not need many basic rules to work well together, but all members must agree to the basic rules and share the responsibility for following them.
How do you communicate during team meetings?
- What are the formalities before, during, and at the end of the meeting?
- Are interruptions tolerated?
- Should the facilitator ask you for an opinion before you speak?
- When should and can you give feedback on a topic?
- Are side calls allowed?
- Is there a specific dress code?
- Is it allowed to consume food and drinks during a conversation?
How do we communicate with colleagues in a normal work environment?
- When should you choose a phone call/ a meeting instead of a simple email?
- Who can I turn to for help and when?
- How do you inform everyone in the team about your progress on a task/project?
- In what form to send news and information about ongoing work processes?
- Who should you report to when there is a conflict or problem in the office?
- When you make a mistake, who should you inform?
- When someone makes a mistake or seeks project feedback, how should you express yourself so as not to hurt anyone and give a comprehensive opinion?
- How to approach a situation of discrimination of an employee based on his race, gender, religion, language, etc.
What is respectful behaviour towards other team members?
- How should you address team members?
- Who can you talk to more informally and who should you talk to formally?
- Is gossip, criticism, vulgar language tolerated?
5) Decide on a team decision-making method
With your team, you can choose from many different models for decision making. The most important factor is that the model is accepted and understood by all team members. It should describe who makes the decision and how others will be involved with it. We share with you several effective models for team decision making:
Team decision-making model №1: Rational decision-making model
When you have to make a complex choice with high stakes with the team and mastering emotions is key, this is your desired model for decision making. It consists of six steps:
- Define the problem
- Identify the criteria you will use to evaluate possible solutions
- Decide how important each criterion is
- Generate a list of possible alternatives
- Evaluate these alternatives
- Determine the best solution
The rational model counteracts many factors – such as wrong assumptions – that can lead us to bad decisions. It can minimize risk and uncertainty. This model is also one that you can use alone or as part of a team.
It is not a good idea to apply it when you are subject to time constraints or in a rapidly changing situation. It is also important to remember that you will not always have all the information you need to use this model. And even if you do, going through the whole team development process is not effective or necessary for some decisions.
Model for decision making with limited rationality
The model with limited rationality is also called “satisfactory”. With it, you will reach a “good enough” decision when you do not have enough time or information to follow the full rational model for decision making. Sometimes it is better to get good enough by investing much less mental energy and other resources.
To help you deal with all the information you need to process and all the decisions you need to make in a day, your brain likes to take shortcuts.
Vroom-Yetton decision model
This model says that there is no ideal decision-making process, and the best process to use will change depending on your situation. In the first part of this model, you have to answer seven “yes or no” questions. Here is an example: “Is the participation of this part of the team in the process important?”
Your answers to your questions then point you to one of five decision-making processes to use. Options range from making a decision based on what you know now, without consulting your team, to reaching a group consensus with your team.
The flexibility of the Vroom-Yetton model is one of its strengths. Everyone at any level can use it and can work, even if you are in an unfamiliar situation. However, it does not take personal factors into account for the decision-maker; the questions may not be accurate enough for some situations and may not work well for larger groups.
The intuitive model for decision making
Even when you make a decision intuitively or instinctively, you still follow a decision-making model. Intuitive decisions can happen almost instantly, but they don’t come out of anywhere in your head. Your brain does lightning-fast pattern recognition by quickly reviewing everything you’ve learned from similar past situations to help you decide in your current situation.
This decision model gives good results when you deal with areas in which you have a lot of experience or experience.
Sometimes a solution that we think is rational and logical is much more intuitive. If you have considered additional options to return to your original choice, you may have followed the retrospective decision-making model.
Knowing what decision model to use, team members will find out what to do and expect more easily.
Apart from good decision-making models, there are also good decisions. They have two distinctive characteristics – quality and commitment. Quality decisions are logical, supported by reasonable arguments, and comprehensive information. To make quality decisions, you need to check that all available information has been collected and shared with participants, that all team members have been consulted and that critical input from stakeholders outside the team is considered appropriate.
When you propose a quality solution, you will be able to determine the degree of commitment that colleagues demonstrate by actively supporting the decision by each team member with his consent to implement the decision and his understanding of his role in it.
6) Establish the effective teamwork process
An effective work team development process includes good communication, mutual responsibility, self-accountability, and discipline.
Using basic rules as a starting point, teams need to develop practices for open communication. Examples include:
Every member of the team has the right to express himself freely, as long as it does not infringe on anyone’s dignity. A distinctive feature of intelligent and successful people is that they listen with respect. When one of the team offers his idea, you should be able to respond fully by agreeing/refuting/supplementing his it. If you have listened actively, you will be able to argue successfully, reaching mutual understanding and agreement.
If an idea confuses you or you find it unusual or strange, ask for more information. Be specific about what you do not understand and ask a specific question focused on this topic.
The environment that encourages colleagues to share their ideas – complete and incomplete freely is created with the commitment of everyone on the team.
The freedom to brainstorm without limits and to develop crazy ideas can result in upgrading the initial thought to a successful project. Treat every idea as important, because that way, team ingenuity will sparkle, and no colleague will feel compelled to restrain his thoughts and feel depressed.
Do not hide conflicts, so as not to ruin your relationship and not to waste an opportunity to create a stronger connection with the people on the team.
Sometimes the best ideas and results are born from quarrels. Learn more about effective communication and conflicts in the workplace.
Each member of the team is responsible for the success of the team as a whole. It is the interdependence that makes teams stronger. When you are interdependent with other team members, you can interact with each other.
Example: You are in the last phase of a project, but one of the colleagues postpones his part of the tasks until the last moment. The rest of you feel angry and irritated because your work and efforts will be wasted only because of one person’s negligence. Each member of the team has a task that is part of the whole project, and this task is related to the work of other employees. This makes you interdependent – if one member of the team does not do his job, the process is interrupted, and the project fails.
Working together to achieve concrete, tangible results, which holds everyone accountable, is the best way to create mutual accountability.
Make a note of every achievement and every mistake. Recognize small victories and successes, personal and team. In this way, team members can develop stronger trust in their colleagues. Do not punish mistakes, but reflect to find out where the process failed.
Good communication with yourself is just as important as the previous two things. It is advisable for team members to reflect on their activities at regular intervals and to check how they work as part of the team.
Example of time intervals:
- During the project:
- After the initial phase of the work process
- In the middle
- In the end
- After the completion of the project
- Every two weeks
- Every three months
Step №1: Focus on your successes and strengths.
When making a self-assessment, it is important to emphasize your strengths and the successes to which they have contributed. You can even draw all the stages you have gone through, the goals achieved, or the progress so far since your last self-assessment.
Specificity will affect your understanding of self-esteem. Describe specific tasks and projects that you have completed and which of your abilities and traits have helped you achieve all this. Try to connect things.
In the same way, consider your progress in the context of the whole company. Notice how your success has affected the performance of the entire team or department.
Step №2: Address areas that need improvement
Like SWOT analysis, you will need to analyze your own mistakes and weak points. There are probably people in the company (superiors) who have noticed your weaknesses. Taking responsibility for them will demonstrate their professionalism and integrity. If you can’t find all the weaknesses in your work on your own, ask a few colleagues to give you feedback.
It is important always to accept your weaknesses as opportunities for growth. When analyzing an area where you don’t live up to expectations, be sure to think about how to use your failures to stay motivated.
Step №3: Describe your achievements
A KisstheFrogNOW piece of advice – Keep track of its achievements throughout the year. Keep a list of successful projects, completed tasks, and any new responsibilities you can take on. If you take only a few minutes each week to record the most important moments of your performance, you will gain a lot of information to support your self-reflection.
Trick: Use and experiment with different key indicators of success.
Step №4: Combine the analyzes and set goals.
After going through the previous 3 steps of the team development process, you come to the denouement – setting goals for future improvement. This is the real part because it sets the minimum effort you need to make to achieve the desired improvement over the previous period. Reviewing your successes and failures is not productive unless you use it consciously to create your plans for the future.
Synchronize your personal goals with those of the company. Set specific goals, measurable in numbers, for personal improvement, and set a deadline.
Example: In terms of activity X, which things worked well, and what would I like to change in my way of organizing next time to achieve Y% higher productivity?
How to develop a team development process plan?
The involvement of team efforts in its development can help all team members to work more efficiently and to explore new ground for development. When you follow the steps we shared in this article, you will:
- You set the team to be always ready for new feats.
- You establish mutual trust, shared responsibility, increased levels of accountability, and effective communication.
- You start the development of the team with a solid foundation and a positive work culture.
The five stages of Bruce Tuckman’s team development take place differently for each team. It is not so much necessary to know them by heart as it is to prepare the team for future change by developing the appropriate attitudes, character traits, abilities, and team values.
This is the key to highly effective teams – shortening the assault phase and extending the execution phase.
What is your experience with these stages as a team leader or maybe as a team member? Share your ideas and pieces of advice in the comments.