Forming, Norming, Storming & Performing

This is my first time on a group project of this nature and as the project begins to take shape I am reminded of “The Tuckman Model.” Created by Bruce Tuckman in 1965, I can’t help but see the relevancy even though his findings are nearly fifty years old. For those unfamiliar with this article, here is a lovely image of his main points borrowed from SHIFT-IT Coach (however the “adjourning” stage wasn’t part of the original 1965 model, that part wasn’t added until the 1970s).

tuckman-model

Right now I feel like we are definitely in the forming stages. Pleases and Thank Yous still fill our conversations and we seem to be operating as our most polite selves. Rarely do people interrupt one another and I often find myself nodding in appreciation while others speak (even if I might not actually agree with what they are saying…).

I was compelled to write this post because, according to Tuckman, if we are ever going to move forward with our project and start “performing” our current formalities must begin to fad. While I’m not suggesting we move toward a path of rudeness, I hope that a leader among us will eventually emerge. When this happens, resistance from the group is bound to occur as it is unlikely that we will all agree on a direction for the project. Moreover, as we begin to figure out just exact it is that we want to build, our individual preferences will also begin to surface and clash with others in the group. This stage of development might not be the most pleasant but I hope my post helps to spur a bit of storming among us. For until we can articulate and battle out our actual desires, and subsequently overcome these obstacles, we won’t be able to achieve our goals (whatever they might actually end up being).

References: Tuchman, Bruce W. (1965). “Developmental Sequence in Small Groups.” Psychological Bulletin. 63(6): 384-399

I am a fourth year PhD candidate in the Sociology Department and am interested in the intersection between media and society. My specific sociological interests are media (as culture), gender, and inequality.

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