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Bruce Tuckman's Team Development Stages

Bruce Tuckman's Team Development Stages is a well-known model developed by Bruce Tuckman. The model is renowned for its rhyming descriptors of the team development stages Forming, Storming, Norming, Performing, and Adjourning/Mourning.

Bruce Tuckman's Team Development Stages

Consider your own career, team-based hobbies, or indeed any of the reality TV shows over the years: Big Brother, I'm a Celebrity, The Apprentice, etc., and you will likely observe all of these stages.

The Five Stages of Bruce Tuckman's Team Development Model

Below, we have outlined the five stages of Bruce Tuckman's Team Development Model to offer you a greater insight into the model.


At this stage, the team is coming together, there is often excitement and nervous anticipation, and team members have expectations about what's to come. They tend to be on their best behaviour whilst they identify the lay of the land and those they are about to work with.


The team is getting to know one another when storming. They start to notice similarities and differences, which can begin to cause a divide in the team and need to be worked through. Differences can show as open conflict or disagreement - sometimes they are quickly resolved, and other times they require more support in moving forwards.


By this stage, there is a common understanding of roles, responsibilities, and expectations as the team have a clear purpose and direction. They understand their own and others' objectives - they are finding out how to play their strengths with and for one another and are able to work through challenges and setbacks.


This is a stage of pride. When the team is performing, they are producing excellent results, they have respect for each other's contributions, and they proudly credit one another for their work. They are able to achieve more collectively than they'd achieve alone. They set challenging targets, enjoy achieving them and can respectfully hold each other to account for progress and results whilst learning from setbacks.


At this stage, the team is disbanded, and there is often a sense of both celebration after the successes achieved by the team, as well as a sense of loss and sadness that the team's purpose has come to an end. There is a time for reflection and acknowledging the ups and downs and a period of unknown expectations about whether the future will deliver such a team for them to be a part of again.

The Leader's Role

One of the key roles of a successful leader is to help their teams develop to the high-performing stage by enabling them with the time, knowledge, skills, tools, and behaviours to create this success for themselves.

The five stages of Bruce Tuckman's Team Development Model are helpful to leaders looking to recognise where the team is and choose suitable development techniques to help them move to the next stage.

For example, if a team is at the storming stage, a team-based communication model such as the CoreStrengths® Relationship Intelligence profile might be a suitable tool to help them build awareness of their strengths and how they play these as a team.

Although depicted in a somewhat linear way, the model is not always linear, and Tuckman states that a team can move stages depending on the context and the situation.

Here at The Leadership Coaches, we work with a wide variety of teams at all sorts of stages to help them develop and often attain results much quicker than if they take the journey of discovery alone.

Contact Us Today

If you're in need of a team coach to support your people, look no further. At The Leadership Coaches, many of our credible coaches deliver team coaching to clients across the country.

To find out more about team coaching, give us a free call on 03450 950 480 or review these frequently asked questions on team coaching. Alternatively, for a no-obligation consultation, email


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