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Viewed objectively, a glance at each department of a company may show a larger number of people who do the same work. Whether we are dealing with a group or team,
one can only tell by taking a closer look.
A group of people can be identified as a team, if they possess individual skills and abilities. They want to reach a certain goal by common action. The smoother the common action works, the more efficient the team will be.
Let me clarify this by giving you an example: When the best soccer players are recruited from each single club to play for the national team they are only a group of people. Once they start the training with the team coach the bond gets stronger and the mutual acceptance and the trust placed in each other helps them to become a high-performing national team.
Bruce Wayne Tuckman is an American psychologist and organizational consultant and has been describing the team development process since 1965. He developed the four-stage-model, which clearly illustrates the path a group has to follow to finally become a high-performing team.
Stage 1: Forming
Who are you? … The forming process is described as the phase of getting-to-know one another and to achieve a better insight of each other, agree on rules and generally focus upon this initial process.
Stage 2: Storming
It’s starting to get stormy! …The first conflicts in regards to role- and task allocation emerge. It is of great importance to constructively find a solution to those conflicts. Based on my experience I can say: If a group tries to skip this phase (conflict avoidance) the group will be thrown back into this phase at a later stage.
Stage 3: Norming
I find my place … Roles are allocated and processes will be established. Common goals will be defined.
Stage 4: Performing
Off we go! … The group has now become a high-performing team and works on the completion of their goals.
The role of the coach
Based on the stage, various methods of support by the team coach are required, to help the group to become a team.
For instance, he/she may need to support them in the forming phase while they are trying to get to know each other. The team coach creates a friendly environment for the exchange, determines the direction of the teamwork and forms the first group structure.
The Storming phase requires a high competence in resolving conflicts by the coach. He/She ensures that the communication rules are adhered to and if really necessary, initiates a de-escalation process.
The Norming phase is all about the even consideration of each team member’s competence and skills. The team coach ensures the adherence of the agreed standards.
And finally, the team coach will focus on the fine-tuning. During the Performing phase external disturbances must be overcome and the harmony within the team must be maintained.
Have I piqued your interest? Would you like to test whether you are currently working with a team or a group of people? Would you like to improve the efficiency of your team? Then please get in touch with me!