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What are the 5 stages of team development?

What is Team development? What does it include?

Expecting yourself to magically build a great team and expecting your team to instantly perform at a high level isn’t fair on anyone! The best teams take time and dedication to build, and with the right tools you can fast track this development for the people around you.

It’s important to invest in developing your team because in order to grow talents, and open yourselves up to new opportunities, you must first learn how to successfully come together. It’s very rare that a team will all have the same sense of humour, work ethic, hobbies, strengths and weaknesses, so in light of that these five stages of team development have been designed to guide differences and people together.

To kickstart your learning about the importance of this skill, we’ve explained the five different stages of team development that you will experience through this exciting journey! It’s helpful to note that these stages are taken from psychologist Bruce Tuckman who first developed this theory in his 1965 work – “Developmental Sequence in Small Groups.”

The “forming” stage of team development is the first, and is the beginning of building the unit. Imagine you’re starting a new job or you’ve had a change of roles, it’s a fresh start for people to work together. In this stage a lot of your focus will be on getting to know each other, including strengths and weaknesses, as well as interests and hobbies. You will also align on missions, goals and bigger thinking work.


The second stage you should expect to experience is the “Storming” stage. It’s described as storming, because naturally after introductions have been made, you’ll experience some form of “storm” such as a conflict of interest, troubles getting into the work, or other push backs.

The third stage is a sweet spot for the team where they become familiar with each other, and start to work in a flow. Team members will begin to appreciate each other’s strengths and more teamwork will begin. Working together is the new “business as usual”, now that the initial storm, and introductions have been made.

The fourth stage really starts to make waves within the team, and it will show by the work they produce. At this point, the group confidently takes on projects and challenges with a strong sense of teamwork, unity and are in the “flow”. Having jumped through the hurdles before, this is the sweet spot of great performance. 


The fifth and final stage is the mourning stage. This is the bitter sweet time when a project has to come to an end, or a point where your team breaks up. It can include a rollercoaster of emotions, especially since so much work, time and passion has been put in by everyone involved. 

Now that you have a general idea about these stages are you ready for the next step?

We invite you to join one of our Building Teams courses designed here at Pathways Australia. You’ll not only understand these different stages but also know how to implement effective methods to enhance and improve your team’s development, performance and more. 

Follow this link to find out more or speak to a course consultant now by calling us on 1300 212 212.


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