Change Implementation Techniques for Forming Transitional Team, Creating Alignment, Maximizing Connectedness and Creativity

Technique 3.9 Four Stages in Team Development

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(Where are you and your colleagues?)

Introduction

There are four stages in developing a team: orientation, dissatisfaction, resolution and production; each stage is part of a journey.

Process

Answer the following statements with a "yes" or "no", if the "yes" answers outnumber the "no", then you are in that stage

Statements

Yes

No

You are in stage 1 (orientation), if the following applies to you

   

i) Feeling moderately eager with high expectations

   

ii) Feeling some anxiety

   

iii) Asking questions such as

- Where do I fit?

- What is expected of me?

- What are the rules and expectations?

- Can I trust these people in the team?

- How are decisions made?

- Is it safe to say what I think?

   

iv) Testing the situation and central figures

   

v) Depending on authority and hierarchy

   

vi) Needing to find a place and establish oneself

   

vii) Group is clear on its mission, goal and responsibilities

   

 

Statements

Yes

No

You are in stage 2 (dissatisfaction), if the following applies to you

   

i) Experiencing a discrepancy between hope and reality

   

ii) Feeling dissatisfied with dependence on authority

   

iii) Feeling frustrated: angry about goals, tasks and action plans

   

iv) Feeling incompetent and confused on issues such as

- What is expected?

- How are we to go about our job?

   

v) Reacting negatively towards leaders and other members

   

vi) Competing for power and/or attention

   

vii) Experiencing polarities: dependence/independence

   

viii) Experiencing conflict

   

 

Statements

Yes

No

You are in stage 3 (resolution), if the following applies to you

   

i) Decreasing dissatisfaction

   

ii) Resolving discrepancies between expectations and reality

   

iii) Resolving polarity and animosities

   

iv) Developing harmony, trust, support, co-operation and respect

   

v) Developing co-operation, self-esteem, cohesiveness and confidence

   

vi) Being more open and giving more feedback

   

vii) Sharing responsibility and control

   

viii) Using team language

   

ix) Team starting to run itself

   

 

Statements

Yes

No

You are in stage 4 (production), if the following applies to you

   

i) Feeling excited about participating in team activities

   

ii) Working collaboratively and independently with whole and sub-groups

   

iii) Feeling team strength and commitment to each other and the team's goals

   

iv) Showing high confidence in accomplishing tasks

   

v) Sharing leadership

   

vi) Feeling positive about the team's successes

   

vii) Performing at high levels

   

viii) Strong team identity and confidence in the team's ability

   

In summary, the characteristics of

Stage 1 - this stage is like 2 dogs meeting for the first time and, normally, productivity is low but morale is high.

Stage 2 - honeymoon is over and expectations are lowered.

(NB This is a critical stage when the team can either fall apart or lay the foundation for creativity and valuing differences, and people should be encouraged to express their frustration and confusion)

Stage 3 - group is learning to work together; with facilitation more than direction being the manager's role

Stage 4 - both productivity and morale is high; with the team functioning smoothly towards accomplishing well-defined tasks that everyone agrees on. Leaders adopt a more supportive role.

Another way of describing the different stages in team development is forming, storming, norming, performing and adjourning. This phase development model has been criticised as it does not take into account the background and situational context in which a group of people comes together; it has limited application outside white male of Caucasian background as the research conducted in developing the concept excluded women and members of minority groups. For example, the storming phase of males establishing boundaries that define power and identity are not the driving forces for women

"...who can more easily establish connections and relationships without the need for ego-boosting, pecking-order confrontations..."

Harry Onsman, 2005a

(sources: Kenneth Blanchard et al, 1986: Robert Kriegel et al, 1996; Harry Onsman, 2005a)

 

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