Leadership and Teambuilding Training Courses – Stages of Team Development

Our Leadership and Teambuilding training courses are designed to improve leadership skills and allow our delegates to be able to lead successful and high performing teams. Our team building workshops are packed full of useful teamwork training exercises, tips and techniques that new and experienced managers will find essential in showing how to lead effectively and will put them on the steady route of becoming successful managers and team leaders. Delegates who have taken our Leadership and Teambuilding courses have now gone on to lead highly productive teams and improving productivity by becoming better managers, motivators, delegators and leaders.

Leadership and team building is a training course that is both challenging and practical. We aim to teach the fundamental ‘people management skills‘ in a positive and constructive environment. It has been designed to enable delegates to understand the basic fundamentals of strategy and motivation in team building. You will benefit by learning tips and techniques that will increase your competence and confidence when managing, influencing and leading teams and individuals.

Stages of Team Development

A team is a group of people organised to work together. Teamwork is the ability to work together towards a common vision, goal or objective. All team members must share in that vision and work both independently and inter-dependently to achieve the goal. Modern managers must have the ability to harmonise individual accomplishment with organisational objectives.

As a team matures, members gradually learn to cope with the emotional and group pressures they face. As a result, the team goes through fairly predictable stages:


When a team is forming, members cautiously explore the boundaries of acceptable group behaviour. Like hesitant swimmers, they stand by the pool, dabbling their toes in the water. This is a stage of transition from individual to member status, and of testing the leader’s guidance both formally and informally.

Forming includes these feelings:

  • Excitement, anticipation and optimism
  • Pride in being chosen for the project
    • Initial, tentative attachment to the team
    • Suspicion, fear and anxiety about the job ahead

and these behaviours:

  • Attempts to define the task and decide how it will be accomplished
  • Attempts to determine acceptable group behaviour and how to deal with group problems
  • Decisions on what information needs to be gathered
  • Lofty, abstract discussions of concepts and issues; or, for some members, impatience with these discussions
  • Discussion of symptoms or problems not relevant to the task; difficulty in identifying problems
  • Complaints about the organisation and barriers to the task

Because there is so much going on to distract members’ attention in the beginning, the team accomplishes little, if anything, that concerns it’s project goals. This is perfectly normal.


Storming is probably the most difficult stage for the team. It is as if team members jump in the water, and thinking they are about to drown, start thrashing about. They begin to realise the task is different and more difficult than they imagined, becoming irritable, blameful or overzealous. Impatient about the lack of progress, but still too inexperienced to know much about decision making or the scientific approach, members argue about just what actions the team should take. They try to rely solely on their personal and professional experience, resisting any need for collaborating with other team members.

Storming includes these feelings:

  • Resistance to the task and to quality improvement approaches different from what each individual member is comfortable using
  • Sharp fluctuations in attitude about the team and the project’s chance of success

and these behaviours:

  • Arguing among members even when they agree on the real issues
  • Defensiveness and competitive; factions start to form and members start to choose sides
  • Questioning the wisdom of those who selected this project and appointed the other members of the team
  • Establishing unrealistic goals; concern about excessive work
  • A perceived ‘pecking order’; disunity, increased tension, and jealousy

Again, these many pressures mean team members have little energy to spend on progressing towards the team’s goal. But they are beginning to understand one another.


During this stage, members reconcile competing loyalties and responsibilities. They accept the team, team ground rules (or ‘norms’), their roles in the team, and the individuality of fellow members. Emotional conflict is reduced as previously competitive relationships become more co-operative. In other words, as team members realise they are not going to drown, they stop thrashing about and start helping each other stay afloat.

Norming includes these feelings:

  • A new ability to express criticism constructively
  • Acceptance of membership in the team
  • Relief that it seems everything is going to work out

and these behaviours:

  • An attempt to achieve harmony by avoiding conflict
  • More friendliness, confiding in each other, and sharing of personal problems; discussing the team’s dynamics
  • A sense of team cohesion, a common spirit and goals
  • Establishing and maintaining team ground rules and boundaries (the ‘norms’)

As team members begin to work out their differences, they now have more time and energy to spend on the project. Thus they are able to at last start making significant progress.


By this stage the team has settled its relationships and expectations. They can begin performing – diagnosing and solving problems, and choosing and implementing changes. At last team members have discovered and accepted each other’s strengths and weaknesses, and learned what their roles are. Now they can swim in concert.

Performing includes these feelings:

  • Members having insights into personal and group processes, and better understanding of each other’s strengths and weaknesses
  • Satisfaction at the team’s progress

and these behaviours:

  • Constructive self-change
  • Ability to prevent or work through group problems
  • Close attachment to the team

The team is now an effective, cohesive unit. You can tell when your team has reached this stage because you start getting a lot of work done.

Leadership and Team Building – 1 day course

Who will benefit from the course?

One of your main responsibilities, as a manager or supervisor, is to analyse the strengths and weaknesses of your team in relation to its goals and to provide the motivation and skills to achieve those goals. This course will help you to improve the direction, motivation and goal achievement of your team. The subjects covered will include:

  • analysing your leadership style
  • team development issues
  • are you a leader or a manager?
  • essential management skills
  • setting standards and follow up
  • developing your own leadership development strategy
  • motivation theory and practice
  • managing conflict
  • appraisal/development skills
  • analysing training needs
  • decision making
  • creating a team identity
  • pre-empting conflict

Related information


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