How to use a classic model in leading change with your team – Part 2

Leading change is a challenge and a responsibility

Having a classic model to help you in leading change gives you the confidence to keep moving.

This is Part 2 of a two-part series in leading change with your team (Check out Part 1 )

The five stages of group development is based on a model developed by Tuckman and Jensen (1977).

The model provides a guide to understand the processes operating within a group at any given time. The model helps to explain the different group behaviours over the lifetime of a group – or even over the course of one meeting!

Leading change with your team


Building on the model, we can begin to identify the role of the team leader at each stage of group development to help guide the group through this process.

Stage 3.  Norming

In the norming stage, group members begin to show a sense of belonging to the group and group cohesion develops through increased levels of trust. They acknowledge all members input and use the strength of the group to solve issues.

Group members share feelings and ideas, solicit and give feedback to one another. Creativity is high in the norming stage and participants start to feel good about being part of an effective group. They look for ways to improve how they function as a group.

Role of the team leader

  • Encourage your group and recognize them for the good work they are doing.
  • Continue to facilitate group planning & development processes
  • Provide ongoing feedback to the group.
  • Encourage and support any emerging leaders.

Practical approaches

  • Let the group have control – facilitate decision making, but only if required

 Stage 4.  Performing

 When a group reaches the Performing stage members support each other, manage their group process easily, and focus on their task. This is the most productive stage of the group where people can work independently, in subgroups, or as a total unit. Members of the group focus on the task to be completed whilst fully supporting other group members. The group focuses on solutions and works actively towards achieving them.

Role of the team leader

  • Provide good tools and techniques for the tasks
  • Provide ongoing feedback
  • Stay out of the way when not needed – step back!

Stage 5. Adjourning

At this stage a number of scenarios may have emerged:

  • The group has lost its focus
  • The groups original purpose has changed or no longer exists
  • The groups’ task is complete
  • Makeup of the group has changed substantially

This may be characterised by marked reduction in enthusiasm of team members. When the group has reached this stage the team leader may help the group to decide whether it should continue in its’ current form and what the alternatives could be.

For a group that has decided to continue the team leader should

  • Facilitate definition of new purpose and associated goals
  • Facilitate identification of roles and responsibilities

When a group has clearly achieved its goals and has no further purpose, the team leader should:

Facilitate a debrief to help the group reflect on their successes achieved & challenges overcome

  • Recognise the achievements of the group members
  • Help organise a celebration of the groups’ work as part of a closure process

Want help in the process? Get in touch.

Andrew Huffer

Andrew Huffer has over 25 years experience in working with organisations, businesses, managers and communities and at a state, national and international level. He designs and delivers specialist engagement processes, with a focus on facilitating open decision making processes and skill development of clients. He has delivered presentations and workshops at a number of state, national and international conferences.

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