Work carried out with others requires social, as well as content knowledge and skills. New teams need time to get to know each other , which unevitably takes its time. It is typical that each team goes through different developmental phases, starting from forming and proceeding through storming and norming to the efficient performing phase.
Forming:The initial stage of team development during which individuals have not yet gelled together. Everybody is busy finding their place in the team, sizing each other up, and asking themselves why they are here.
Storming:People begin to see themselves as part of a team. However at this stage they may challenge each other, and the team leader, about such things as what the team is doing, and how things should be done. As the stage title suggests, conflict and confrontation typify this stage, as differences surface. This may result in some loss of performance or focus on the task, as the diagram illustrates.
Norming:This is the phase where team members start to come together, developing processes, establishing ground rules, clarifying who does what, and how things will be done. This phase is characterized by a growing sense of “togetherness”.
Performing:This is the final stage where increased focus on both the task, and on team relationships, combine to provide synergy. Performance is delivered through people working effectively together.
These phases are not static properties of teams, but change over time, when the team members, situations and projects change. If the team members do not know each other well, a significant amount of energy and cognitive capacity goes to maintaining the social side of teamwork. This all, of course, is away from the actual content and goal of the teamwork, since the social and content sides compete from the limited capacity of the individuals.
Therefore, to get to the point, it’s worthwhile to take a moment for getting to know each other at first!
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