Intentional Leaders Podcast with Cyndi Wentland

Is your team...a team?

May 31, 2022 Cyndi Episode 72
Intentional Leaders Podcast with Cyndi Wentland
Is your team...a team?
Show Notes

Bruce Tuckman's Model:

Most of us realize that a common goal is foundation to differentiating a group and a team. Not all groups are teams, and that is okay.  

1.      Form: the group is immature; shared goal, collective purpose, clear roles and responsibilities

2.      Storm: the group is fractioned; disagreement, tension, possible cliques form when individuals disagree about priorities, roles or tasks and yet don’t know how to successfully resolve the conflict

3.      Norm: the group is gelling; cooperation increases as roles and leadership is understood and accepted, as things stabilize and trust is established (we also know how to resolve conflicts individually and collectively)

4.     Perform: openness, flexibility, attention to both the goals and the dynamics, shared leadership, collective problem solving; shared decision making; focus on the collective goals

The real value of knowing this model, is knowing as a leader you can accelerate the development of your team. I know, on purpose. While it’s very common just to make assumptions about our team being high performance, this model helps us to really investigate, number one is that true….and number two how do we ensure it’s true.

The fun part of this is actually exploring the model and the stages with your team. Whether a department or project team, you can gain insights into how others perceive the team. The individual members may have very different experiences and insights that a leader may not know, because they’re of course tucked safely in the individual members brain. 

Using an assessment to analyze team behaviors is a great starting point. It will spur on the discussion. 

As the team leader, your role evolves with each of the stages. They need different types of leadership in each of the 4.  Consider yourself first more of a director, then a coach, a facilitator and then as the group strengthens and evolves, a delegator. This approach parallels the Situational Leadership model created by Hersey and Blanchard (episode 22). It means that the level of management required evolves and shifts over time, as standard practices and processes are in place that the team can utilize. It also means that the team continues to operate at a deeper level, collectively to achieve goals and assess the team dynamics. 

Key learning seeds:

·       There are 4 stages of team development: form, storm, norm and perform

·       Every team will go thru them, they are predictable

·       When a member comes or goes you go back to forming

·       You can accelerate the performance of a team

·       As a team leader, your role will shift

·       It’s okay, they still need you!


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