Teams and its members usually move through a series of recognizable stages, starting from initial formation and ending once the team has disbanded. Forming an efficient team takes time, so understanding these stages will help your new team become effective more quickly.
The first stage is when team members meet each other and learn what opportunities and challenges are in store. Team guidelines are established, goals are set and members become familiar with their roles and responsibilities. Leadership is important at this stage, as they are the ones responsible for the team progressing to the next stage. This stage can last for some time, as people start to work together, and as they make an effort to get to know their new colleagues.
This second stage often starts when there is a conflict between team members’ natural working styles and/or expression of ideas. Low trust is evident amongst the group and some may resist taking on tasks or start to push against the boundaries established in the first stage. Unsurprisingly, this is when many teams fail. Thus, leadership should guide the team towards clearly defined goals, acceptable team behavior and effective communication.
In the third stage, team members start to resolve their differences and respect the leader’s authority. Trust, motivation and communication increase, and positive teamwork becomes apparent. Now that team members know one another better, they have a stronger commitment to the end-goal and are able to ask one another for help and provide constructive feedback.
The team reaches the fourth stage when everyone’s hard work leads to the achievement of the team’s goal. The friction is gone and there are high levels of loyalty, participation and group decision-making, making it feel easy to be part of the team.
Many teams will reach this stage eventually, as this consists of task forces and project teams coming to an end. Group achievement will be recognized, but there will also be some mourning over the dissolution of the team relationship. During this stage, leadership needs to emphasize organization gratitude and both team and individual recognition.
Team building is an excellent way to help your team progress to the next stage. Contact Lajollacooks4u today for more information on our customized team building events and corporate cooking challenges!