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4 Stages of Group Development

April 20th, 2009 · 7 Comments

Forming Storming Norming Performing - Group/Team Development

Stepping back more than forty years ago to 1965 and we find a valuable model for group development introduced by a psychology researcher in group dynamics, Bruce Tuckman. Tuckman’s model, Forming – Storming – Norming – Performing, highlight the growth stages of a group or team. These evolutionary stages are the key blocks for building a team that performs with exceptional results.

Throughout the duration that the team operates, there may be many reiterations of the stages, but the concept is valuable to understand for day-to-day operations teams. It is CRITICAL for entrepreneurial endeavors and projects teams.

In this post, I am going to give an overview of this model, but in a post on Thursday, April 23rd, I am going to write about a key strategy for success in team development and what every leader should practice.


Obviously, forming is the beginning. “In the beginning,” there is an initiation of a team. Perhaps a charter is drafted and formal authority is given to a leader. The team may or may not have had clear objectives, but the idea is that in the forming stage the team comes together, gets to know each other, and begins to work together.


As time progresses, the team may face conflicts. The dynamics of personalities, leadership and management authority, and technical expertise will come to light with problems and issues that need be worked out before the team can progress.


After problems get worked out, the team becomes stronger. The team enters a period of normalcy. Team members understand each other and know how the team operates – the pecking order, the processes, how to interact and collaborate, etc.


The more the team works together, the better the team works. Efficiencies are developed. Expertise is improved. Innovation is commonplace.

This is when the success of a team is at the pinnacle. This is when team members break out the Champaign and celebrate what they create and produce. This is what every leader strives to lead the team to realize. This is the stage that every team hopes to achieve, but it is rarer that you may think.

Check back on Thursday, April 23rd, and I will share with you a key strategy in building a performing team.

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Tags: Bruce Tuckman · Forming Storming Norming Performing · Group Development · Teams

7 responses so far ↓

  • 1 How to Lead the Team to Performing // Apr 23, 2009 at 9:11 am

    […] 4 Stages of Group Development […]

  • 2 Silas Ng'habi // Nov 9, 2009 at 4:34 pm

    I like the contents in your website. I am interested to use your training materials face2face with fellow students and colleagues. the idea is to use the PCs with online virtual f2f facilitation to students.
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  • 3 solomon // Feb 2, 2011 at 3:56 pm

    That was great innovation, Thanks

  • 4 awais arshad // Jun 4, 2011 at 5:20 am

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  • 5 Michael Greenberger // Feb 15, 2012 at 7:26 am

    I think “Norming” actually refers to setting group norms, which of course are the rules – written or unwritten – that define what behavior is acceptable within a group (or society).

  • 6 Yaseen 520 // Nov 7, 2012 at 1:26 pm

    That was great innovation, Thanks

  • 7 Yaseen 520 // Nov 7, 2012 at 1:31 pm

    That was great innovation, Thanks.

    Life is good

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