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Stages of team development

Kirjoittanut: Rima Zemmouri - tiimistä Sointu.

Esseen tyyppi: Blogiessee / 1 esseepistettä.

Forming Storming Norming Performing: Successful Communication in Groups and Teams
Donald B. Egolf
Esseen arvioitu lukuaika on 3 minuuttia.

Introduction :

Nowadays, there are thousands of theories and research on how to create a high-performing team. The journey from forming a group is often marked by different stages of development along the way; ups and downs, agreements and conflicts, successes and failures; Working in a team can sometimes be like a real roller coaster. Donald B. Egolf’s book “Forming Storming Norming Performing” describes the 4 stages for understanding the complexity of team development and explains the dynamics that shape teams by providing a roadmap easy to understand and follow for achieving sustained success.

I recently started this journey with my new team and coming across this book was a blessing. Through my reading, I believe that the ideas presented in Egolf’s work can help teams cultivate a deeper understanding of their evolution and implement strategies that will promote long-term success.

Understanding the Stages :

Egolf’s framework begins with the formation stage, which is the stage of excitement, anticipation, and sense of possibility for many teams, yet it also carries unpleasant challenges as team members get to know one another and define roles and responsibilities. Egolf emphasizes the importance of clear communication and establishing a shared vision and values for the team during this stage in order to create a solid foundation for teamwork.

However, as the team progresses, the emergence of disagreements, tension, and general communication issues can be quickly observed. Despite knowing one another, the team’s communication is still not at its best, and members’ perspectives on the various circumstances they encounter are insufficient. People can become frustrated because there are differences in how each person operates. The root of this frustration lies in the failure to clearly identify each person’s operating methods within the team. Everyone is still trying to find their place in the various projects that are being realized. Based on Egolf, this stage can be overcome by effectively managing these conflicts and encouraging sincere and productive interactions by focusing on developing each person’s assertiveness, using non-violent communication techniques, and raising awareness of constructive criticism.

After the two initial hectic stages, the team enters a phase of stability and comfort with the Norming stage. It is synonymous with effectiveness, productivity, and dynamics after resolving previous conflicts among the team members. They cultivate mutual trust and establish norms on how to interact and complete tasks. Nevertheless, there is still one stage left to reach the optimal ability of the team. When they get to the performing stage, team members are highly motivated and committed. There’s a genuine sense of teamwork and belonging emerging. When a team is mature enough to resolve disagreements amicably and take independent action, productivity is at its highest. The keywords are efficiency and autonomy!

Reflections :

My biggest takeaway from this book is the notion that respecting each other’s abilities and contributions rather than having personal affinities with team members is what makes a team work well together. Being “friends” is not a requirement for collaboration. valuing the contributions of everyone and placing a high priority on respect enable us to utilize each member’s full potential and produce outstanding outcomes from the very beginning (in the forming stage).


We all agree that every team is different and unique. They all have specific tools and techniques that help them work together as a cohesive and effective group. Time is another important factor to consider, as each has its unique periods of adaptation and evolution. Therefore, the book gives you a fairly accurate and clear picture of the journey a team takes over time. Additionally, it clarifies that team development is not a linear process and they might move back and forth between stages while learning from their mistakes along the way. In the end, the most important thing is to reach the end together as a united collective.

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