Share a situation where you went through the group communication stages- forming, storming, norming, performing, ending.
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I accepted a year-long writing opportunity. FORMING: The framework was set; there was nothing negotiable about the mission, objectives, modes of operation. My job was to synthesize this framework into the area I was tasked with. STORMING: I tried various approaches to make a match and a fit between my own style and approach and the prescribed framework. sSome worked; most didn't. NORMING: I found a way to discern and decipher the existing culture and adapt its best to my methods. I became an accept part of the operation and contributed creatively and accepted innovative expansions to my operational tools and methods. PERFORMING: I contributed work that was well received, gave new ideas to co-workers, and gave desired information to readers. TRANSFORMING: My task was done and a success. It was time to close the project. The project team had become mutual well-wishers and were all saddened at the dissolution of the team but were happy and satisfied at the accomplishments. Doors were left open for possible future projects.
When I first heard the Group Communication Stages, I remember them as Forming, Storming, Norming, Performing, and Mourning! That keeps the alliteration alive....and "mourning" is a bit more descriptive than "ending." If the group dynamics went well, there should indeed be a period of "post partum."
How interesting...my teaching team was just discussing this last week. I teach at a middle school which just opened in September 2008. This was the 3rd middle school in our district and was staffed using members of the 2 existing middle schools.
We most definitely are still going through the storming stage of this process. Year one was relatively easy, since it was a 'honeymoon' period. Everyone on their best behavior. Year two was somewhat similar. We were more familiar with each other, but still in a prolonged honeymoon environment. But then came year three!!! The gloves came off and no more honeymoon. We began storming and we're still going through this to some degree.
As with more organizations, some teams at our school are functioning much more effectively than others and some have moved beyond the storming and norming phase to preforming. I would expect our norming phase, as an entire school, to begin in earnest this year or early next year, with preforming soon to follow. I know this sounds like a loooooonnnnnggggg time for this process to unfold, but nothing in education seems to happen fast. I guess we are no exception.
Your question specifically refers to Tuckman's Stages of Group Development which aim to establish a patter of behavior, from the moment a leader enters a group, to when he changes it, and then brings out results from that change.
It is known that change is a very hard thing to do, especially when one has reached a comfort zone. In groups, each individual has his or her own comfort zone and, for this reason, it is imperative that whoever leads that group does it gradually and consistently. There must be much substance to the process.
Hence, a common and typical example of how groups change is when a person is put in charge of a group of people who already have a way of doing things. This is typical of just about any field. Examples include: a) A new teacher entering a classroom that used to have another lead teacher and follow her rules; b) A new supervisor or leader that needs to fix a specific department; and, c) a soldier assigned to a platoon which he or she will have to mold to best benefit the common goal.
In the latter case, the case of the soldier, this is how the dynamics often are: A platoon needs to be put together to accomplish a mission. The men in the platoon have previous knowledge of what they have to do, but they do not have any knowledge about their leader.
A- When the new leader comes in, he often enters already having established (forming) the goal, the mission, the vision, and the expected outcomes.
B-This, is often met with resistance, for which the leader must come in strong regardless of the attitude of those who need to follow (storming).
C-Once the rumble calms down, it is time to re-connect, re-visit, and regroup by establishing the new rules (norming).
D- Now he goal is clear, the plan of action is clear, the rules are clear: It is time to put them into action and execute, which would be the same as performing.
E-Finally, you the group reach their goal if their plan is executed correctly, for which they would have gone through the process of transforming , OR ending, the mission.
You can apply Tuckman to just about any example of group dynamics there is out there. The group process is often the most evident way to produce change.
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