The Stages of Team Development

Group Of Business People Working Outdoors With Work Related Imag

Written Transcript/Summary – Leadership and The Stages of Team Development

AYL Podcast #8 Summary

Leadership and the Stages of Team Development

Definition of a Team

“A team is a small number of people who come together with complementary skills and are committed to a common and agreed upon purpose, performance goals and approach. As a team they hold themselves accountable to the agreements, both as a whole and individually.”

Typical Indicators of the Four Stages of Team Development


  • Polite, Impersonal
  • Hesitant Participation
  • Test Behavioral Expectations
  • Discusses Peripheral Problems
  • Attempts to Identify Tasks and Parameters
  • Decides on Information Needed
  • Watches Team Leader Closely
  • Accomplishes Minimal Amount of Work Together


  • Conflicts
  • Competition
  • Disunity, Tension
  • Fluctuations of Relationships
  • Concern over Excessive Work
  • Polarized Group Members
  • Watches Team Leader Closely
  • Accomplishes Minimal Amount of Work Together


  • Establishes Procedures
  • Able to Express Emotions Openly
  • Sense of Team Cohesiveness, Spirit
  • Trust Among Members
  • Common Goals
  • Developing Skills
  • Respects Members’ Contributions
  • Accomplishes Moderate Work


  • Informality
  • Members Willing to Help Others
  • Close and Supportive
  • Builds Links to Other Teams
  • Flexible and Open
  • Functions Do Not Become Redundant
  • Distinct Roles & Contributions
  • Accomplishes Maximum Work

Suggested Team Activities in Each of the Four Stages of Development


  • Provide opportunities to make contact, bond, and get to know each other
  • Clearly define and discuss expectations and boundaries, including personal needs
  • Clarify roles and responsibility within the teams and cross teams
  • Acknowledge and empathize with members feelings of confusion, ambivalence and even annoyance
  • Communicate team members personal needs


  • Discuss team performance compared to goals and objectives set
  • Focusing on managing the workplan, milestone and resource needs
  • Focus on team process issues, and clarify decision-making roles and responsibilities
  • Discuss what has been learned
  • Plan for celebrations of team success


  • Conduct regular check-ins to ensure sharing of information and resources, feedback, and evaluation
  • Check problem solving and decision making processes to ensure effectiveness
  • Clarify key cross group dependencies and encourage more contact cross group
  • Plan for celebrations of team success


  • Experiment with and develop new methods for meeting team goals
  • Consider implications of the work from a change management perspective
  • Think about how to transfer knowledge created by the team
  • Consider implications of work for the broader business
  • Identify and decide how to address cross team gaps
  • Cross train within the team for development and expertise sharing
Leadership and the Stages of Team Development

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