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The Process of Forming a Team in "Tuckman’s Team Life Cycle"

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In relation to ‘Tuckman’s team life cycle’ (Tuckman, 1965) the forming stage was the initial process of forming a team and I had experienced that first hand. I was placed with four other individuals who all had to come together as a team to achieve a primary goal. This had required us to start forming and getting familiarised with one another. From my own observations there was a great deal of anxiety coming off of a few team members including myself as we did not know each other very well. Because we did not know each other, there was minimum communication and everyone was kind of giving simple ideas (see appendix for further explanation)

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The storming stage was the next phase of our team journey. At this point, we had already gotten to know one another in a general sense and I felt that everyone was more or less on the same page about most things. However, at the same time we didn’t have any leadership and a point came when one team member (team member A) was really taking it upon herself to start delegating tasks. It started a lot of controversy as another team member (team member B) challenged her. He did not like her taking over in such an imperious way. He strongly felt that she was too abrupt and informal for taking the lead role. There was of course a bit of tension with both team member A and B. I felt a bit of concern with how we would operate as a team if we could not resolve this. But in the end, we had decided on a team vote and she was appointed leader and I think team member B felt a high level of resentment against him (see appendix for further explanation)

As the norming stage approached all team members were clarified of what their tasks and objectives were. Referencing back to Tuckman’s team development model (Nestor, 2013) our leader displayed some great leadership skills. She was a great communicator as she explained the tasks in detail and was very encouraging about performance standards. For example, she started working alongside team member C and was teaching her skills on team communication. Team member C was also able to take on the lead of achieving some of the aspects of the project. Team member B who I previously mentioned in the ‘storming’ stage did manage to put his differences aside and generally made an effort to work together. Everyone in the team were starting to accept one another and trust was starting to build. I felt content knowing that new standards were being set by team co-operation.

Finally for performing, the team were well established. There were strong relationships built and there was a foundation of trust. When we were coming close to finalising our team project, everyone was on board and each taken initiative to make sure every topic was covered. There were even team members offering to read each other’s parts to make sure spelling and grammar was accurate. We were a high performing team now. This was an indication that everyone was comfortable with each other and the willingness to work in a team grew.

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