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The 5 Stages of Team Development

Team building is a factor that can make or break any company, ministry, or project. Did you know that there are 5 Stages Of Team Development? Let's quickly discuss them.


The team members are introduced to each other and roles are defined. One of the key factors during the forming stage is leader definition. The team leader takes the time to define the vision, project requirements, and overall goals for the team to achieve. The team leader also makes it clear who does what. During introductions, the team leader defines the person/people assigned to an area and their responsibilities. This clarity isn’t just for the leader but for the rest of the team as well so they can know who is the clear person/people responsible for specific assignments.

Take note, just because team members may already be familiar with one another doesn't mean they are familiar with those members in those specific roles. When a new project, effort, or endeavor begins, the forming stage begins especially if familiar people are taking on different roles and responsibilities. Done correctly, the forming stage will set a positive tone for the entire endeavor and give everyone on the team clear directives towards completion.


The team members experience conflict as they exercise their roles and perceived areas of responsibility. Team leaders should understand upfront, conflicts will happen and it should be expected. Whether it is a team member that oversteps perceived boundaries or another member that has a temper due to a bad day, conflicts will occur but it is how they are handled that will determine how long the storming stage will last.

Conflict is healthy and should not be avoided. The team is learning where the boundaries are set. When conflicts aren’t resolved among the team, the team leadership steps in to provide objective solutions to keep the team focused on the goals at hand. Storming is a necessary part of team building and leads to the next stage.


The team has worked together for a while and the expectations have been set. Mutual respect among the team members has been established and everyone is engaged and working at their best.

It’s during the norming stage that the work of the project/effort begins to come in focus and the critical goals are in sight. Conflicts are reduced and the team members fully understand every other member’s responsibility. While norming, the team starts to feel like they are gelling together.


Out of the time of norming comes performing. At this point, the team is at the height of its potential. Roles are clear, goals are clear, and the work expectations are clear.

While performing, the team challenges itself with internal goals to supersede the original requirements. They want to work faster, have higher quality, and produce excellent results.

During the performing stage, the project goals are achieved, timelines are met, meetings are effective, and the possibility of a great ending to the effort increases daily.


The adjourning stage marks the end of the planned effort. Whether it was a project that installed new computers, putting together a church anniversary program, or getting a new company started; the team wraps up their roles and brings the effort to a close. This is when the positions are dismissed and the team members are released to take on new roles for new efforts.

Understanding the stages of team development will help teams and team leaders prepare themselves for both what they see among the members and what they anticipate will happen as the effort progresses.

Do you know what stage your team is currently in?

Need assistance with team development, guidance, roles, and more?

Learn more about JG Pitts Team Coaching Services at

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