Stages of Group Formation

New     groups   are  constantly  being  formed  in  all  walks  of life .These  may be  formal units,  committees    working    parties,  project         teams       e.t.c. To deal    with the new development    or innovations or arising from   a reorganization of existing    work patterns. They may also be informal   group based around   new friendships and interest.

Stage 1: Forming  

The first   stage   of   group   development   is concerned   with    finding   out the   nature   of situation   with which   the group   is faced and what   forms   of behavior   and interaction are appropriate.  Members will      test out attitude      and behavior      to establish      their acceptability as ground     rules for accomplishing    the   task and   getting along with   other members.  Competing    powerful    personalities      can    lend    to      problems    in    early development explorations of what is acceptable within the group.

Stage 2: Storming  

Leading    on from  the forming stage  in which   certain   ground rules   are explored  , it is likely  that  there will  be a stage   of  conflict  and disagreement   as   methods  of  operations and patterns of behavior start to be   firmed  up .This   where  different   opinions    and styles emerge with competing  sub-groups,  challenges   for leadership  , rebellions  against control and resistance  to the  demands  of meeting  task  requirements. A degree of compromise is necessary here in order to allow consensus to emerge.

Stage 3: Norming  

As  resistance   is overcome   and conflicts    patched   up, groups   move    into the norming stage   whereby   they   establish   norms of    attitudes   and behavior   which   the   mutually accepted  for the task performance  and  interaction .Individual members  begin  the  process of internalizing  those   norms  and  identifying  with  group  ,building  group  cohesion.

Members   roles   start   to be   clarified and   accepted    at this   stage   .The role    of leader should be clearly established. the  establishment   of  consensus  brings recognition   of the value  and different  potential  contributions   of individuals    and this results to cooperation and mutual  support from group  work.

Stage 4: Performing  

This is  the final  stage  in development   and it  represents   the  position  where  the group energy   is now  available  for  effective  work, completing   task  and maintaining the group. The   established  norms     now   support     the goals   of the   group   and roles   becomes functional ,thus  allowing  constructive  work  in  relation  to tasks

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