Professional Communication Phase

Bruce Tuckman developed the Stages of Team Development composed of the Forming-Storming-Norming-Performing model. According to Tuckman, these phases are inevitable in a firm’s tendency to grow, to take on challenges, to face problems and find solutions, and to achieve goals. Every group will go through the Storming stage. This stage begins to occur as the process of organizing tasks and processes surface interpersonal conflicts. Leadership, power, structural issues and competition dominate this stage.

Different ideas compete for consideration. Team members become hostile or overzealous to express their individuality and resist group formation. These may be characterized by disunity, increased tension, jealousy, arguing between members, all vying for leadership, differences in points of view, power struggles and more. Naturally, a group would not be able to surpass this stage if all would play as leaders and no one will follow accordingly.

Understanding the characteristics and helping the group work through specific group problems can often help them move on to the next stage. And one way to accomplish that is “to move from a testing and proving mentality to a problem-solving mentality” (“Stages”). First step is to be a motivator of positive growth among the members. Acknowledging the conflict is a must. This contributes to a more open mind among the team members. Making each member understand the team’s purpose is also a good ground for beginning to rework.

Initiate as well a giving and receiving feedback. Do not let personal needs interfere with the team’s ability to pursue and achieve goals. Be aware of other team members’ feelings and leave personality clashes somewhere else. This phase can become destructive to a team and will lower motivation if allowed to get out of control. Most unfortunately, this can cause the downfall of the whole team. So it very important to employ the value of listening, acceptance and constructive commitment in order to move on to the next stage.