Saturday, January 10, 2009

The Group Process

Working in a group effectively is a trait that is not easily accomplished. As individuals we are aware of our processes towards the task involved. However when working in a group we must compromise our processes to be able to accommodate to the group environment. This is not easily done. According to Tuckman, there are four stages that groups must go through in order to be able to function and tackle the task at hand. These stages Forming, Storming, Norming, and Performing, go from getting to know each other socially, organizing and comprising, role recognition, and finally the last stage when the group functions most effectively. I find it a bit ironic that we ask our students to try to work in groups effectively when its so difficult for adults to do it. Currently, I am the head of the ESL department where I face group challenges and resistance on a daily basis. Trying to accomplish a single goal can at times turn into World War 3. I have group members that love to participate and have such a great attitude and are open and I have others who are quiet and won't participate at all. As a leader, I wonder what I have to do to get my group out of the Storming stage and into the Norming in order to have a better functioning group.

1 comment:

Dan Mosunich said...

I recognize the challenge of going from storming to norming. It seems that the process goes back and forth through all four steps. I sense that this is part of the interpretive process that goes with changing beliefs and values. I'll be interested to hear your thoughts on this challenge as the course proceeds.