When I was struggling in making a team successful, I didn’t know what to do and I got pissed. I was sending angry mails. I was talking out loud. I was annoyed by the fact nobody would listen. Then a teacher showed up. She referred me to the Tuckman model for team development. I didn’t understand what she first explained me about forming, storming and norming, but after studying the model, it came alive and I knew I had experienced it before. And knew every team needs to go to the same process.
To quote Run DMC…
“Than it goes a little something like this”
When you are forming a team, every team member is a little bit uncomfortable, nobody really knows what’s going on, everybody is looking towards the leader expecting direction… But who is the real leader in the house. “Show me the way” is what I would think and who and what do we really need to fulfill our goals. Am I the leader or is somebody else? The hero will stand up. How good or bad he or she is.
After forming the team, members want to know, who is who, who they can trust, who has their back. They also want to tell the others, the leader where they come from, what their background is and what they can deliver. Of course, told from their perspective. This is called the storming phase. A nice “fight” can break out. You need time, open conversations and lots of coffee to glue some relationships back together.
The norming phase kicks in, when members become aware of the fact, they need each other to get results. They accept each other’s qualities and also skills that are less developed. It becomes clear what the norms in the team will be. Processes are established. You will know, what the other can deliver, and you accept that. You will be able to think about how you will grow together, as a team.
Now the fun begins, the team is a real team. Individual team members transform themselves to real team players. There is commitment towards each other and towards the goals of the team. The fun can begin. The work hard, play hard mentality will be mentioned! Although, watch out… you might have skipped a stage. So don’t shout it out to loud.
Every time a team member leaves or a new member joins, or you move your office or workplace, the process starts over. The more solid and open the team is, the quicker the team will adapt to its new self. It is time to rock and have fun. It is time to explore.
Really curious, if you ever found yourself in this situation. Think about it and come back if you want to know more.