HQS 620 Describe how you would apply your leadership skills to move team members from the “storming” to “norming” stage of team development

HQS 620 Describe how you would apply your leadership skills to move team members from the “storming” to “norming” stage of team development

HQS 620 Describe how you would apply your leadership skills to move team members from the “storming” to “norming” stage of team development

Project management requires that the team manager have a good understanding of group dynamics. Management of a group is a challenge and remains a big challenge even to leaders or managers with numerous years of experience. Among the theories that have been used to guide leaders in managing projects and teams is the Bruce Tuckman theory of team development. The theory asserts that a newly initiated team for a project goes through five stages when learning to get used to each other and eventually work together (Cresswell-Yeager, 2021). The five stages include forming, storming, norming, performing, and adjourning. The most turbulent stage is the storming stage; hence a manager should employ various strategies to help the team move from the storming to norming stage.

I would discuss with my team the developmental stages and focusing more on what to expect during the storming period. Therefore, they will be prepared better mentally to face the storming stage and appreciate that they need to navigate it by solving conflicts that arise and move to the next stage appropriately (Bennett & Gadlin, 2019). I would also resort to speaking to the team members one on one. It will help create a special connection with every team member and help them focus more on the project goal and objectives. By sharing their concerns, I would have a better idea of what could be causing the disagreements and effectively help them transition from the storming to norming stage through careful management of the destructive aspects of the stage.

 I would also help my team by clarifying to them the team objectives and individual responsibilities in fulfilling the objectives. They would then be more focused during the storming phase, with each member knowing that their contributions are valued and are vital in achieving success (Bennett & Gadlin, 2019). Therefore, they would be more willing to solve conflicts and differences, hence transitioning to the norming stage more smoothly.


Bennett, L. M., & Gadlin, H. (2019). Conflict prevention and management in science teams. In Strategies for Team Science Success (pp. 295-302). Springer, Cham. Doi: 10.1007/978-3-030-20992-6_22

Cresswell-Yeager, T. (2021). Forming, storming, norming, and performing: Using a semester-long problem-based learning project to apply small-group communication principles. Communication,Teacher35(2),155.https://doi.org/10.1080/17404622.2020.1842476

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Clarifying the purpose of a project is the main objective concerning team dynamics. Arranging the goal (strategy) and objectives (tactics) is another aspect of project management. There are four stages of project development as per our reference book, and they are forming, storming, norming, and performing. Moving on is a “fifth” part as the project concludes. After the goal is identified, storming may occur to reach norming. The following is an explanation of a project in which my partner and I were co-PMs. This was the placement of a cone beam computerized tomography (CBCT) imager into our office. 

During CDE, we became aware of the CBCT machine and its application in the specialty practice of oral surgery. It is now almost ubiquitous in all aspects of dentistry. Technical details were given to us online and via manufacturer representatives. Review of cost, time involvement, and location in our office site needed preliminary discussion with my partner and office manager. A staff meeting with the entire team allowed us to introduce this project and to recruit the team members with direct access to its use and upkeep. 

HQS 620 Describe how you would apply your leadership skills to move team members from the storming to norming stage of team development
HQS 620 Describe how you would apply your leadership skills to move team members from the storming to norming stage of team development

Storming involved staff members responsible for procuring the images. Although they were clear on the purpose and our decision to proceed, they were overwhelmed with training and the timing needed to become updated.  After further staff meetings, over a short time, we explained, along with a technician, the types of images and their manipulation for improved diagnostics. The clinical team was impressed and agreed we should proceed. Because we have a “safe space” for all team members, they had no problem starting the project. This is the process of justifying the project. 

Along with team meetings, we described the “gap” from older imaging and the new results that did several things.  We were able to encourage everyone on our team and the specialists we contact that we were updated and would provide them with a better differential diagnosis over time. Also, our patients were now impressed with the images we showed them during treatment and informed consent consultations.  The norming was underway and over the next 6+ months, our imager was well used for the benefit of our patients. As a result, performing improved all aspects of improved patient quality performance. RFH 

Satell, G. (2018). 4 ways to build an innovative team. Harvard Business Review. Retrieved from https://hbr.org/2018/02/4-ways-to-build-an-innovative-team

Stanleigh, M. (2018). Dealing with conflict in project teams. Retrieved from https://bia.ca/dealing-with-conflict-in-project-teams-2

Team Clarizen. (2018). Goal versus objective: What’s the difference? [Blog post]. Retrieved from https://www.clarizen.com/goal-vs-objective-differenc

Team dynamics is a broad term that can describe the personalities and attitudes within a team as it relates to carrying out policies and procedures as well as how change is perceived. Storming occurs when a change is proposed and it is met with resistance and negative feelings by team members, whereas norming occurs when team member buy-in occurs and the change truly begins to take place as a trust is formed (Six Sigma Daily, 2020). The rate in which a team moves from the storming to norming stage is a reflection of the culture established and the leadership in place. As a leader I would start by introducing the issue and proposed change to my team and ask for initial thoughts and feedback on the issue and proposed solution. This opens communication as well as makes team members feel they are playing an important part in solving the issue rather than being told how it will be from now on. Still, I’m sure there will be some negative feelings throughout the implementation of the project, which I will offer encouragement, and welcome continued feedback while emphasizing the goals of the project.  


Six Sigma Daily. (2020). What Is Forming, Storming, Norming and Performing? https://www.sixsigmadaily.com/what-is-forming-storming-norming-performing/

Forming, storming, norming and performing refer four stages that define of how a team develops. Storming refers to the stage where conflict is present and team members compete for control. Once the team moves through this stage, they can start to work together, respecting ideas and others. This is the norming stage (Sipes, 2020).

Before the project manager can move the team through these stages, they need to understand the causes of the conflict. Schiffbauer (2019) explains teams enter the storming stage because the project goals, roles and or rules become confused and unclear. As a result, communication needs to be focused on and project manager needs get everyone talking honestly to express thoughts and feeling about the project.

In this situation, the leadership skills of communication and conflict management will need to be used. Because there the storming stage is fraught with confusion, spending time active listening to concerns will help build trust as team members will feel their opinions matter. After discovering underlying confusion and even fear, clarifications can be made, but the team should also be led to offer solutions to own the work to achieve buy-in.


Schiffbauer, L. (2019, December 22). How to move from storming to norming. [Video]. Youtube. https://youtu.be/Sa9yvvpFNXI

Sipes, C. (2020). Project management for the advanced practice nurse. Springer Publishing Company. https://www.doi.org/10.1891/978082616196