Groups tend to follow a standard pattern of formation. Tuckman identified this stages as forming, storming, norming, and performing.
During the forming stage the members of the group are identified.
During the storming stage group members jockey for position. It is during this stage it is determined the roles and responsibilities of individual group members.
During the norming stage the culture of the group is established. It is during this stage that the members either consciously or unconsciously decide how they will work together.
During the performing stage the work of the group is actually accomplished.
Unfortunately, many groups never become teams. Primarily this is because they got stuck in the storming stage.
“I will never cease to be amazed by the power of questions and the willingness of all participants in Action Learning groups to help the “problem presenter.” We are utilizing the process to work on issues ranging from budgeting to granting access into the control room. At a recent training session the AL group stayed late, after the session ended, to explore options to address a problem that a participant had brought with him.”
Powerful teams are formed by avoiding the storming stage. Teams are taught to consciously establish their norms. Issues that have been festering are brought to the surface. Allowing the air to be cleared and effective performing to take place. Team members learn powerful communication skills. Communication skills go beyond being able to express an idea clearly to being able to actively listen to teammates.