Employees needed consulting, coaching, training, and hand holding in order to be comfortable and productive in their jobs.Managers needed all of those skills plus the leadership skills to empower and energize their employees.Teams require people understanding their roles and knowing the strengths of their team members and the leadership to guide them through the stages of growth and into productivity.
Creating a team takes time and members often go through recognizable stages as they change from being a collection of strangers to a united group with common goals. The Forming, Storming, Norming, and Performing model describes these stages. When you understand it, you can help your new team become effective more quickly.
The life cycle of a team is broken down into the following stages. Forming, Storming, Norming, and Performing, Adjourning
All teams go through theses steps with varying speeds through the steps. Let’s breakdown what each stage is, what type of leadership is needed at that time and some specific actions for a leader then.
Someone creates a team. At this stage people generally don’t know their roles, nor their team members. They are a collection of talented individuals that don’t know how (or want) to support each other.
Tight and visible leadership is required here as nobody knows exactly what they should be doing. Leaders goal is to get buy-in for the vision of the team.
Assign roles if possible
Start to build a team mentality
People are finding their place. Sometimes there is conflict about roles and responsibilities – sometimes about working styles. At this stage, the team is simply a collection of individual workers. They are not yet comfortable with each other, are learning to work together, and are growing familiar with the interaction and communication of the group members.
Leadership will have to manage conflicts and differences of opinion as well as assigning tasks.
Establish processes and structures.
Build trust and good relationships between team members.
Resolve conflicts and coach people how to do that themselves.
This is the stage where you’re finally coming together as a team. People generally know their place, they more easily resolve conflicts themselves, and they appreciate the others’ strengths. The members have learned to abide by certain group norms and they are becoming functional at working together.
Now a leader can usually delegate tasks and assume that they’ll be completed.
There may be the occasional storm still, especially if a new person is added top the mix.
Give people autonomy, while recommending (team) resources.
Teambuild (Events, exercises)
Now the team is working well together, with each member supporting the weaker aspects of their team’s make-up and leaning in to their strengths. Work is being completed on time and with little friction.
As leader, you can delegate much of your work, and you can concentrate on developing team members.
This group can handle new people or losing people with ease. The system works.
Delegate and oversee
This is when the group is disbanded, for whatever reason.
A good debrief about successes and lessons learned would be greatly helpful.
Help your people find a new place to participate!
I love working with new teams as I know how to get them through Storming in 1 day as opposed to 4-6 weeks! Getting everyone to know their teammates names and playing and struggling together with common goals brings them together and teaches them how to work as a team highlighting various people’s strengths.