Collaboration in group settings can be challenging as each person brings their own communication styles to the table. Different levels of communication anxiety, and aggressiveness, as well as their unique listening profile. In order for collaboration to be effective and goal oriented, team development must follow a linear path that begins with the formation of the group, during which roles are established, and individuals have the opportunity to reduce uncertainty by getting to know the members of the group (Abudi, 2010). Next, the group has the opportunity for conflict and conflict resolution. During this stage, the members of the group express their ideas and concepts, agree and disagree, and come to an agreement on roles, and processed. In the norming stage, member begin to form the group identity where roles are clear and mutual respect is established. The performing stage focuses on the goals of the task, where collaboration is constructive and ideas are examined, motivate, and are supportive to the end result.
The adjourning stage is the final stage of the collaboration towards a common goal. At this point, members may celebrate their collective efforts and for some, the working relationships may blossom into new and exciting friendships. Moreover, on the professional level, this group may hold its group identity moving forward in other endeavors bringing with them a new and vibrant perspective of effective teamwork. This end stage offers opportunities to reflect on the strategies used, offer and receive validation, honor strengths and identify the strategies that did not work as well. In this end stage member may also have an opportunity to exchange information and develop partnerships for the future.
Groups with clearly established roles and expectation are the hardest to leave because they are closer to my preferred methods of engagement. For me, this means that emotions can be left at the door, and there are less chances for conflict. This final stage is often celebrated casually where members get to tell their stories about the engagement, their struggles, and achievement. I find that celebrating adjourning bring back the individual’s contributions each member has applied to the project and to the team itself. Validation then serves a motivation for future engagement.
Abudi, G. (2010). The five stages of team development: A case study. Retrieved
O’Hair, D., Wiemann, M., Mullin, D. I., & Teven, J. (2018). Real communication: An
Introduction (4th. ed). New York: Bedford/St. Martin’s