Is This the Storming Stage?

You derailed a conversation in a meeting;
You made an unfair comment;
You spoke with too much emotion and not enough forethought;
Was that me?
What’s that all about?

What was it about those conversations that made me react like that?

What does the team leader think of this situation?

“Soon, reality sets in and your team moves into a “Storming” phase. Your authority may be challenged as others jockey for position as their roles are clarified. The ways of working start to be defined, and as leader you must be aware that some members may feel overwhelmed by how much there is to do, or uncomfortable with the approach being used. Some react by questioning how worthwhile the goal of the team is and resist taking on tasks. This is the stage when many teams fail…”

This is a passage I took from psychologist Bruce Tuckman’s 1965 description of the development process that teams go through (Norming, Storming, Forming and Performing). This is really resonating with me right now.

The storming stage makes me feel uncomfortable. At the same time, it is a new team, we don’t know each other very well, and we are getting familiar enough now with one another to start to express a diversity of opinions even about very fundamental principles.

That could be the basis for an open conversation with the team leader. I can also apologize. What can I do right now to help us move through this stage and on to the norming and performing stages?

If this is the storming stage, I look forward to what comes next…

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