Stages of group formation

It takes time for a group of individuals to become a team, so start work early and have regular meetings.  There are several stages that groups typically go through:

Forming

Characterised by uncertainty about roles, other group members, and task requirements.  Often people are particularly polite and aim to avoid any conflict.

Storming

An unsettled phase that is usually characterised by the group struggling.  Struggles can eventuate due to task requirements, conflicts between individuals or sub-groups arising from both task and interpersonal issues.

Norming

The phase whereby the group begins to harmonise as norms for the group’s functioning emerge and develop.  Conflicts are reconciled and mutual support develops.

Performing

Characterised by the group organising itself to best meet the needs of the common task and starting to produce results.

Mourning

The phase whereby the project draws to a close.  There may be a sense of loss and anxiety about having to break up.