Storming Stage of Team Development

Storming Stage of Team Development

Storming is the second stage of team development and this stage is characterized by a bid for power and inter-personal conflicts. Learn the key factors that occur in the storming stage and the strategies that a team leader can adopt to pass this stage of high winds

Managing Team Conflicts in the Storming Stage

Storming is the second stage of team development and in this stage, members start competing for status, leadership, and control in the group. When group members get to know each other better, the storming stage begins. This stage is characterized by a bid for power. Every team will move through this phase. Some will stay here longer than others. During the Storming stage, conflicts arise as team members try to figure out their roles and delegate tasks. This stage can be difficult, but it can also be highly productive. 

Characteristics of the Storming Stage: 

Key factors that occur in the storming stage for the team members might include: 

  • Individuals understand others' behavior and assert their role in the group.
  • Team members may compete for a certain role or position on the team.
  • The leader’s authority may be challenged as others compete for the position.
  • As a result inter-personal conflict starts.
  • Members try to resolve the issues related to the task and working relations.
  • They also resolve the issues related to the role of the individual in the group.
  • Roles and responsibilities get clarified to a certain extent.
  • The rules and ways of working as a team start to be defined.
  • The team still lacks established processes.
  • The team lacks strong interrelationships with their colleagues.
  • Some members may feel overwhelmed by how much there is to do.
  • Some members may also feel uncomfortable with the approach being used.
  • Some may even start questioning the appropriateness of the goals of the team.
  • Some may start resisting taking on tasks.
  • Members will begin to open up but also confront each other on ideas.
  • Can be painful to team members who are reluctant to deal with conflict.
  • Politeness tends to begin to wear off and dissension can occur over.
  • Control often becomes the primary issue.
  • Disagreements can be either very obvious or subtle.
  • Sharp fluctuations in attitude about the team and the project's chance of success.
  • Arguing among members even when they agree on the real issues. 

Managing Conflict during Storming: 

As team members struggle over roles and responsibilities, conflict can arise. But it can also be a highly creative stage as ideas are generated and challenged, and important issues are discussed. Identify what some of the problems are they will need to solve. If they're to move to the next stage, team members must learn to voice disagreement openly and constructively while staying focused on common objectives and areas of agreement. During the Storming stage, to help team development, you should focus on team building to ensure that people can get to know one another and not get stuck in seeing each other as competitors. 

Suggestions for the Team Lead/Member in this stage: 

To make sure that Storming results in positive growth, the team leader needs to: 

  • Establish process and structure
  • Ensure that everyone stays on track with the team's goal, and
  • Help the team define a shared vision
  • Work to smooth conflict and build good relationships between team members.
  • Allow and encourage productive conflict.
  • Need to remain professional and objective.
  • Allow each member to share their ideas or ask for input.
  • Be open to every team member's input
  • Help members to understand and appreciate the other members’ knowledge and skills.
  • Generally provide support, especially to those team members who are less secure.
  • Remain positive and firm in the face of challenges to your leadership or the team's goal.
  • Perhaps explain the phases of team development so that people understand why conflict's occurring, and understand that things will get better in the future.
  • Compliment team members.
  • Review team goals and ground rules
  • Address problem behaviors
  • Check processes regularly
  • Assure the team of progress
  • Apply conflict management techniques 

Every team will move through this phase. Storming is the most difficult stage for a team to weather, and this is the stage when many teams fail. Some teams may stay here longer than others. Storming is necessary for healthy team development. When team members begin to trust one another enough to air differences, this signals readiness to work things out. 

Related Links

You may also like Team Leadership Theory | Theories of Team Development | Defining Team and Teamwork | Eight Types of Teams | Benefits of Teams in Workplace | Creating Highly Effective Teams | Phases of Team Development | Team Foundation in Forming Stage | Storming Stage of Team Development | Tools for Developing Your Team | Share Information with Your Team | Team Development by Building Trust | Benefits of Empowerment | Building Perfect Creative Team | Barriers to Communication | Change & Culture of Innovation | Concept & Definition of Stress | Concept of Innovation | Consequences of Stress | Coping With Work Stress | Effective Business Communication | Generating Ideas using Brainstorming | Generating Ideas using SCAMPER | Guide to Receptive Listening | Is Stress Always Bad? | The Five Bases of Power | The Skill of Decision Making | What is Communication?

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