Norming

1.0 Introduction Bruce Tuckman suggested in the Psychological Bulletin in 1965, that all groups go through four stages in their life cycle, namely forming, storming, norming and performing.

2.0 The Norming Stage A group starts off by coming together, clarifying objectives, getting over disagreement, setting rules and then delivers.The group needs to establish norms and practices. When and how it should work, how it should take decisions, what type of behaviour, what level of work, what degree of openness, trust and confidence is appropriate. At this stage there will be a lot of tentative experimentation by individuals to test the temperature of the group and to measure the appropriate level of commitment. This stage of the group’s development establishes the need for members to recognise that co-operation rather than hostility and conflict will enable the group to reach their goals, andt he group develops behavioural patterns and standards, which become accepted as group norms, or group rules. These norms control the behaviour of the individuals and reduce competition between group members. 2.1 Definition: Norming Stage teams have successfully moved out of the storming stage and are ready to move to a higher level of communication and problem-solving. 2.2 Description of Norming Process: Norming always takes place within a group. It happens informally( naturally) when not done formally (artificially) . Whether it is done formally or informally, norms tend to change over time. Norms change more dramatically when i. ii. iii. new members join or old members leave the group, the task (reason for the group’s existence) changes, or there is a change in external factors that influence the group

2.3 Group characteristics: Members of Norming Stage teams demonstrate an improved ability to complete tasks, solve problems, resolve conflict. Skill level will rise. So will enthusiasm.

3.1 Rationale for Formal Norming Effective groups realize that one of their first tasks should be to develop norms and that the norming process in not trivialised. Group norms can be the glue that binds the group as difficult tasks are undertaken, or they can be the cause of ineffectiveness and dissolution. A significant amount of conflict, confusion and polarization that can lead to group dysfunction can be avoided or minimized by using a formal norming process.

but the group has the power to determine how it best functions. i. and according to the model. record a key phrase of each idea presented.e.3. Brainstorm a list of possible norms. iv. iii. viii. no discussion. and multiple leaders emerge . 4. The Norming stage becomes complete when close relationships have been developed and the group demonstrates cooperation. Review rules of formal brainstorming: set a time limit. These questions may stimulate responses: *How do we want to operate/work together to make us an effective group? *How do we want to interact as human beings (not as positions)? *What group rules will allow us to accomplish our tasks? v.Hierarchy is also established and roles bcome clear and accepted.1 Conclusion Tuckman’s model helps you understand ‘how groups develop’ thus helping a group function more effectively. Combine ideas where appropriate. continue the use of effective strategies for conflict resolution and take greater levels of responsibility for their roles. no judgement.2 Critical skills and activities: Norming Stage teams need to learn to engage in more sophisticated problem-solving and decision-making.1 Maintaining Group Norms: The problem and/or joy of having formalized norms is that each member of the group is responsible for maintaining/revising the norms. ii. 4. review each item listed for clarity. check with the group for any needed modifications.2 Formal Norming Process: Set the stage by creating a relaxed atmosphere with sufficient time to begin and end the process.3 Role of leader(s): In this stage. work toward consensus on whether or not to accept each norm listed. 4. At the end of the listing of possible norms. spirit. Each member should verbally agree to accept or reject each norm. Post the norms each time the group meets. vii. not ‘one offs’) go through . Consider each item individually. and cooperation further develops common set of expectations from the group members which defines their behavior. External forces may modify the group’s tasks. Leaders may have changed but a sense of team cohesion. goals keep the team in Harmony by avoiding conflict 5. vi. Make sure that group members understand the norming process and the rationale for engaging in the process. leaders become less directive and team members feel empowered. The model can be applied to teams as well as small groups. groups that are going to be in existence for a while (i. use flip chart paper or other method which allows for public recording.

At the norming stage the group may be bonding so well. less time might be spent on the first three stages and the group quickly progresses to the desired performing stage. But that’s not to belittle the first three stages: it’s important for groups to go through each stage otherwise they might ‘perform’ but not very well. As a leader. they may drift away from the objectives and the leader’s role is to get them back on track. it is especially useful to understand the stages of development and to adapt your style accordingly . . But how long they spend at each stage depends on how well they know each other: if there are lots of familiar faces. Groups often become dysfunctional (stuck in the storming stage) if the facilitator has not allowed enough time and attention for the forming stage.four stages as they come together and start to function.