Theoretical and Personal Analysis of Small Group Functioning

3 pages
655 words
Carnegie Mellon University
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The number of institutions that apply the use of teamwork is significantly increasing. These facilities include schools, hospitals, banks and other corporate organizations that will depend on teamwork. However, the groups do not just come to be, and they take a subsequent process to develop into teams that are functional. It is the reason for the various stages of group development with many authors presenting these steps as five (Natvig, & Stark, 2016). The initial stage if forming where the individuals are trying to create familiarity with the rest of the group. Here members gather data and impressions they feel will favor their survival in the group and which will also determine the creation of groups in the future (Natvig, & Stark, 2016). Team members will often look to the group leader for direction and guidance. The group often avoids the discussion of serious issues and topics during the first stage. Members will focus on getting to know one another and defining the task at hand.

It is necessary for team members to get rid of their comfort and preference of topic that are threatening and prepare for the possibility of conflict (Natvig, & Stark, 2016). When members reach this level, it becomes easy to move to the next stage. For the class group, I became part of a team that had already been working together for a while because the group was working together for four years. Therefore, I did not get the opportunity to witness the conflict that would have been present at this stage. However, I was the new member of the group and lacked the ability to develop a sense of belonging. I would observe as each member gave their contribution to the team to learn as much as I could about them. I was required to introduce myself because I was new and the rest of the group wanted to get familiar with me. I felt that the group was at a level where they were comfortable with each other due to the feedback they gave and the type of contribution each member made towards the group.

The second stage is known as storming where team members engage in competition and conflict because of personal relations and the task function that each member engages in (Seck, & Helton, 2014). Each person has to mold his or her ideas, attitudes, emotions and feeling to suit the needs of the group. As they work on organizing the task, there is a high likelihood of the occurrence of conflict. There will be conflicts concerning leadership, and members will have questions on who will do what and how the evaluation of the task will be. The movement to the next stage will be determined by the members; ability to listen and their transition from a 'testing and proving' thought the system to one of problem-solving (Seck, & Helton, 2014). I was new in the group and therefore lacked knowledge of what happened to the individuals and the group during the storming stage. I would speak out things that were important to me and which I thought were significant but even when I did, I was anxious. I feel that I had not developed the comfort within the group and participated at this level because I had to. The dynamics within the group were at a level where I required time to catch up with the rest of the members. I would listen to what the group contributed and tried to work through developing interpersonal relationships with each group member. However, my focus at this point was on the task at hand and how the group would help in accomplishing it.


Natvig, D., & Stark, N. L. (2016). A Project Team Analysis Using Tuckman's Model of Small-Group Development. Journal of Nursing Education, 55(12), 675-681.

Seck, M. M., & Helton, L. (2014). Faculty development of a joint MSW program utilizing Tuckman's model of stages of group development. Social Work with Groups, 37(2), 158-168.


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