In relation to the main development stages of community groups, we looked at the ‘Forming-Storming-Norming-Performing-Adjourning’ model devised by Bruce Tuckman, in 1965 (‘Adjourning Stage’ was added in 1977). “Tuckman maintained that these phases are necessary and inevitable for the team to grow, to face up to challenges, to tackle problems, to find solutions, to plan work, and to deliver results”.
Forming (Formation Stage) – In which the group is just coming together, often characterised by uncertainty. At this stage, individuals are gathering information and impressions – about each other, and about the scope of the task and how to approach it. There is great reliance on the leader (Community Development Practitioner) for guidance and direction. Storming (Dissatisfaction Stage) – In which differences between members surface and minor confrontations take place. Cliques and factions form and there may be power struggles – an uncomfortable stage! A challenging phase for the Community Development Worker who must help the group focus on its goals and resolve conflict and any trust issues effectively – compromise may be required to enable progress.
Norming (Resolution Stage) – In which the tasks of the group are clear and agreed – all members feel part of a team, take responsibility and have ambition to help achieve perceived goals. There is better understanding between group members and mutual respect for one another’s skills, knowledge and experience.
Performing (Achievement Stage) – At this stage, group members know each other well enough - motivated and able to work effectively together to achieve the aims of the group. The group is capable of standing on its own feet - therefore little intervention is needed from the Community Development Worker, who watches from a distance - able/available to offer support, if required.
Adjourning (Completion Stage) – In which the aims of the group have been...