Tuckmans Team Development Model

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  • Topic: Storm, Team, Stage
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  • Published : January 10, 2011
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The four stages of team forming is an evergreen model used by countless facilitators who conduct teambuilding or leadership related workshops. Frequently, though – it is just touched upon in a very superficial way. The model though holds great substance and relevance while conducting experiential team building activities. Lets take a dive into the model: Overview In 1938, Dr. Bruce Tuckman, a renowned psychologist introduced the 4-stage team developmental model that is now known very well. Less common to most, Dr. Tuckman has added a fifth stage to the model in 1965 which is the “adjourning” stage. Let’s walk through the 5 stages.


Time Forming Infant Storming Puberty Norming Adolescence At Communication Level Courteous, Hierarchical Broken down, unstructured Structured and reflective At Relationship Level Polite, curious, wary, awkward and tense Stressful, fiery, clique forming, disagreements Stable roles, rules defined, reflective, WE before I At Task Level Information gathering, adjustments Define boundaries Structured, organized, clear goals and targets Leadership Style Directing (telling) Coaching (advising) Participative (facilitating and enabling) Delegating (overseeing) Directing (concluding) Task oriented, creative, PDCA, driven Handing over, concluding Seeks for development, trusting, openness, enabled Bonded memories, maintains connection, anxiety, insecure Generative, productive, creating network Purposeful, conclusive Performing Maturity Adjourning Reversion

The diagram above presents the 5 stages and its relation to one another.

Forming Forming is the initial stage for all team formation. Members are curious about each other; communication is generally superficial and courteous. It can be hierarchical especially for some new teams that were formed with a defined structure. Occasion awkwardness can be felt as the each member is adjusting to the new “team atmosphere”. If a leader has been...
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