Group Development Model


 The Group Development Model helps facilitators understand the different stages that your group may experience as they work together. Learn strategies to help move your team through each stage effectively.

My group is new or going through a personnel change.

Main Strategy When Your Team Is Forming: Build team spirit and comfort while providing lots of structure for all activities.

Key Elements
  • New group
  • New situation
  • Members unsure
  • Low levels of trust
  • Group needs direction
  • Commitment is low
  • Group skills are unrefined
  • Members are over-dependent on leader
Facilitator Strategies
  • Warm up exercises
  • Disclosure exercises
  • Build buy-in
  • Create common goals
  • Implement groundrules
  • Clarify roles and responsibilities
  • Define accountabilities
  • Provide clear process
  • Encourage participation
  • Evaluate team effectiveness

My group is focused more on individual needs than on group cohesion, this may result in conflict or competition

Main Strategy When Your Team Is Storming: Listen, address conflict, referee assertively, resolve issues collaboratively.

Key Elements
  • Conflict emerges
  • Frustration sets in
  • Animosities develop
  • Cliques can form
  • Members can reject leader
  • Power struggles
  • Emotional arguing
  • People feel excluded
  • May be internal (eg. lack of confidence)
  • Lack of skill is evident
Facilitator Strategies
  • Expect and accept tension or resistance
  • Stay neutral and calm
  • Create safety
  • Honestly admit that there is conflict
  • Help members identify and solve issues
  • Invite input and feedback
  • Make interventions
  • Assertively referee conflict
  • Train members
  • Encourage communication
  • Continue to build sense of team

My group has recently established an interdependent group identity and has developed a sense of trust, clarity, and purpose

Main Strategy When Your Team Is Norming: Support team improvement efforts and encourage member empowerment.

Key Elements
  • Members ‘own’ problems
  • Conflicts are resolved
  • Power issues are resolved
  • Team redefines its norms
  • Performance problems are corrected
Facilitator Strategies
  • Offer methods for feedback
  • Solve problems
  • Invite personal feedback
  • Offer further training
  • Support members while they make improvements
  • Share power
  • Mediate personality clashes
  • Coach and counsel individuals
  • Share the leadership role

My group consistently has a high level of productivity, autonomy, and achievement

Main Strategy When Your Team Is Performing: Build agendas together, share facilitation responsibilities, collaborate, act as a resource.

Key Elements
  • High productivity
  • Conflicts managed by members
  • Commitment to goal(s) is high
  • Roles and responsibilities are clear
  • Members behave in a facilitative manner
  • Team continuously improves itself
  • Members feel committed and bonded
Facilitator Strategies
  • Collaborate with members on process
  • Rotate facilitation duties
  • Offer your expertise
  • Help the team recognize and celebrate success

My group is disbanding or going through a transition

Main Strategy When Your Team Is Adjourning: Reflection, Evaluation, and Celebration!

Key Elements
  • Group has achieved goal
  • Time together has ended
  • Feel sense of accomplishment
  • May feel sense of sadness or loss
Facilitator Strategies
  • Evaluate time together
  • Recognition and appreciation activities
  • Celebrate successes
  • Share lessons learn and discuss how to take lessons back to others