5 Stages of Terrific Teamwork that Work

 In Leadership, Rick Conlow, Teamwork

Teamwork in organizations is like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Teams get together, and even make a little progress. Then, BOOM, they materialize into a nightmare. Before you know it, people want out, conflicts arise, and nothing happens. It seems that everyone talks about the importance of “team” so it’s become a worn out cliché. Together everyone achieves more (T.E.A.M.) is the spoken acronym. Yet, nearly 2/3 of teams falter and fail. Most fall far short of their intended objectives.

5 Stages of Terrific Teamwork that WorksYou can change that for any team you are a part of or lead. You need to learn content and process for each stage of teamwork development. Content is the what of a team; the details of their work. It involves their goals, plans and expected results. The process is how the people work together. It involves their relationships to collaborate. It also includes their efforts to elevate their creativity to exceed the team goals.  None of this happens naturally by holding a few meetings.

5 Top Reasons for Terrible Teamwork

Teams are unique organisms possessing the potential to perform amazing work that no single member of the team could ever dream of accomplishing. But a team doesn’t just happen, rather it is developed. Yet, most managers don’t learn the stages of team development and make the same mistakes over and over. Teams fail because of:

  • No goals or plan
  • No roles
  • No training
  • No conflict
  • No Communication

Each of these must be addressed by the leader and team. Let’s say the team had been formed to improve a workflow procedure. Goals and plans have to be established and tracked. The roles of each team member needs to be reviewed. Team training on planning, communicating, and problem-solving will be helpful so everyone becomes more skilled. Steps for handling conflict need to be organized, and guidelines set-up for working together. A schedule for meeting has to be laid out. There needs to be discussions of work expectations, measurement of results, and documentation of team activity. If any of these strategies are missed, chances are the workflow team will fail and not change or improve anything.

5 Stages of Terrific Teamwork

The Best Leaders Build a High Performing TeamYears ago, Dr. Bruce Tuckman created a model of five stages of team development. Many people have added to his stages of team development over the years. Today the same descriptions of the stages still apply.  He named them: Forming, Storming, Norming, Performing and Adjourn. We added a reforming for adjourning. Each steps requires thoughtful actions and facilitation by the team leader. The leadership training video will give an overview of the purpose of each stage. When content and process is followed in each stage the possibility of a successful team greatly rises. Yale professor H.E. Luccock said, “No one can whistle a symphony. It takes a whole orchestra to play it.” 



Do you want assess your team’s effective?  Check out this complimentary Team Effectiveness Assessment.

For more details on teamwork, see our books: Creating a High Performance Team (paperback), or Creating a High Performance Team, 7 Lessons for Team Mastery (updated in eBook format).


Or, do you want a proven game-plan for career success? If so, check out Rick’s Superstar Leadership book.

Call for more information – 888-313-0514

Rick Conlow
Rick Conlow is the CEO & Founder of Rick Conlow International, a consulting, training and coaching firm. He has helped over 200 companies such as Target, Costco, Andersen Windows, Spectrum, Northern Power, Meijer, Carpet King, International Truck, John Deere, Lowes Financial, and Canadian Linen improve customer loyalty, increase sales and add profits. Rick has been a general manager, vice president, training director, program director, and national sales trainer. He has authored 22 books, and regularly speaks at conferences and to audiences of all sizes.
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