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The different stages of group development – Tuckman’s

Why it's Important:

Understanding how teams develop can be incredibly beneficial when you're about to start a group project or prepare for a group exam. Tuckman's 5 Phases of Group Development is a model that outlines the key stages a team goes through as it progresses. Knowing these stages can help you navigate the challenges of group work, enhance teamwork, and ultimately lead to a more successful outcome:

The Phases

1. Forming (Your Current Phase)

  • Description: This is the initial stage where the group comes together. There's excitement and curiosity. Members are polite, and there's a positive and expectant atmosphere. Roles and responsibilities still need to be clarified.

  • Why It's Important: This phase sets the tone for the group's communication and collaboration. It's crucial for building relationships and setting goals.

2. Storming

  • Description: Differences start to emerge. Conflicts or power struggles can occur as members push against established boundaries.

  • Why It's Important: Though challenging, this phase is necessary for the team's growth. It's where you start addressing differences and finding common ground.

3. Norming

  • Description: The team starts to resolve its differences. They appreciate colleagues' strengths, establish norms, and respect the authority of the group leader.

  • Why It's Important: This phase helps build stronger relationships and a more profound commitment to the group's goals.

4. Performing

  • Description: The team is now more strategically aware and knows clearly why it's doing what it's doing. The team has a shared vision and can stand on its own feet without the leader's interference or participation.

  • Why It's Important: This is the most productive phase. The group knows how to work effectively and flexibly.

5. Adjourning

  • Description: The project ends, and the group disbands. This stage can be challenging for members who like routine and struggle with change.

  • Why It's Important: It provides an opportunity for reflection on what was achieved, and lessons learned, which can be applied to future group work.


Understanding these phases can help you manage your expectations and contribute more effectively to your group. Remember, currently, you are in the 'Forming' phase. Use this time to get to know your team members, establish clear goals, and lay the groundwork for successful collaboration. Remember that every phase has value and contributes to the group's success.


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