Building Teams


Overview and Concept

1.     Teams

A team is made up of a group of people who linked with a common purpose. Teams are especially appropriate for carrying out tasks that are high in complexity and have many interdependent subtasks.

Why is it important to build effective teams?

  1. To engage a diversity of cultures, working practices, and languages
  2. And to share strengths, responsibilities, and resources
  3. To overcome obstacles together
  4. To bring together members and partners, who may be dispersed and feel isolated
  5. Meetings of teams are often infrequent and intensive

2.     Team Stages (Tuckman, 1965)

The stages of a Team

Teams can go through five stages:


The forming of the team takes place in this stage. Basically, the team learns and meets about the opportunity and challenges. After that, the team agrees on goals and begins to tackle the tasks. Team members tend to behave quite independently. The forming stage of any team is important because in this stage the members of the team make new friends, exchange some personal information and get to know one another. This is also a good chance to see how each person of the team works as an individual and how they react in stress.


After the forming stage, all groups will enter the storming in which different ideas compete for consideration. The team talks on the problems such as what difficulties they are really supposed to solve, how they will function freely and together and what leadership model they will accept. Team members open up to each other and confront each other’s ideas and perspectives.  In some cases, storming can be resolved quickly. In others, the team never leaves this stage. For the growth of the team, no doubt storming is necessary. It can be argumentative, disagreeable and even hurting to members of the team who do not like conflict. The tolerance of each team member and their different needs to emphasize. Without tolerance and patience, the team will fail. This phase can become disgusting to the team if allowed to get out of control.


At some points, the team may enter the norming stage. Team members adjust their behavior and develop work habits that make natural and fluid teamwork. In this stage team members works by agreeing on rules, ethics, values and professional behavior. During this phase, it is clear that team members begin to trust on their peers. Motivation of the team increase in this regard and the team gets more familiar with the project.


Some teams will reach the performing stages. The high performing teams are able to function as a unit as they find ways to get the job done easily and excellently without unfortunate conflict. Team members have become interdependent. By this time they are motivated and knowledgeable. Without supervision, the team members are now autonomous, competent and able to handle the decision-making process.

Mourning / Adjourning:

Project teams usually exist only for a fixed period. The breakup of the team can be particularly hard for members who like routine or have developed close working relationships with other team members, particularly if their future roles or even jobs look uncertain.

3.     Team Roles

Belbin (1993) has indicated that successful teams need a variety of roles to be filled.

  1. Coordinator- leads the team and coordinates its efforts.
  2. Implementer- methodical, practical administrator who turns ideas into tasks.
  3. Motivator (Shaper) – provides the drive and passion for the task.
  4. Innovator (Plant) – an imaginative person who is a source of ideas and proposals.
  5. Resource Investigator – a sociable member who brings new contacts, ideas to the group.
  6. Monitor-evaluator – analyses, checks, and looks for defects.
  7. Team worker – supports, encourages and listens to others.
  8. Complete-finisher – makes sure the team sticks to timetables and completes tasks.

4.     The Kubler-Ross Grief Cycle (1997)

Elizabeth Kubler-Ross was a doctor who wrote a book called “On Death and Dying” which included a cycle of emotional states that is often referred to as the Grief Cycle. In the following years, it was noticed that this emotional cycle was not exclusive to the terminally ill, but also other people who were affected by bad news, such as losing their jobs or being negatively affected by other changes.

  1. Stability stage: The initial state before the cycle is received is stable, at least in terms of the later reaction on hearing the bad news.
  2. Shock stage (Immobilisation): Initial paralysis at hearing the bad news.
  3. Denial stage: Trying to avoid the inevitable.
  4. Anger stage: Frustrated expression of bottled-up emotion.
  5. Bargaining stage: Looking in vain for a way out.
  6. Depression stage: Final realization of the inevitable.
  7. Testing Stage: Seeking realistic solutions.
  8. Acceptance stage: Finally finding the way forward.


Team building is a collective term for a variety of activities used to enhance social relationships and define the role of individuals, often involving collaborative work. The best results can be obtained by keeping the above-mentioned requests.

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