Creating Effective Teams: A Guide for Members and Leaders
Wheelan (2013) identifies the four stages of team development and provides detailed explanation of how a group transforms itself from a stage one group of uncertainty into a successful, highly productive stage four team. This requires work and a thorough understanding of the many internal/external influences that can occur during each stage. A team member or leader who is well versed in these stages and who can evolve with each stage will be better equipped to deal with possible obstacles that can hinder group progress and implement practices to help the group successfully work through a particular stage. The goal is for the group to become a team that will value the importance of everyone’s contribution within the group and how it relates to the overall ability of the group to successfully accomplish the mission. As this is achieved, the work will no longer feel like a chore as team members encourage, inspire, and have fun completing tasks and achieving the desired outcome (Wheelan, 2013).
In the first stage of group development, termed dependency and inclusion, team members are dependent upon the designated leader to provide a sense of belonging and to create an environment where members feel safe enough to suggest new ideas (Wheelan, 2013). The overall goal of stage one group development is the ability to create a safe and inclusive environment for all members as some may experience certain behavioral characteristics associated with feelings of insecurity and a need to feel included in the group. Stage one members may feel apprehensive about sharing their ideas until they feel that the environment is safe to share and that their input is valued (Wheelan, 2013).
As members work through the group one stage, they will become more confident in their role and begin to rely less on the team leader for input. In