Article: Forming Before Performing

Teams constantly face change, which makes strategic leadership vital to success.

Forming. Storming. Norming. Performing.

Eileen Hogan, M.S., Ed.S.
Assistant Vice President
Consultant


Many people are familiar with the stages of team development—forming, storming, norming and performing. Despite knowing this in theory, it is tempting for team leaders to skip the forming stage and assume their teams just operate at the performing stage. The result of this strategy is a team stuck in a swirling mix of forming, storming and norming that simply drains energy away.

To lead a team toward high-performance, leaders must recognize the forming stage has to be worked through again anytime there is a change on the team. Some examples of common team changes include:

  • Someone joins or leaves the team
  • Individual or team responsibilities change
  • Roles or rules change
  • Goals change
  • Customers change
  • The leader changes


Teams constantly face change, which makes strategic leadership vital to success. When anything changes, an effective leader must pay attention to the basics of the forming stage—be intentional about onboarding, support relationship-building and revisit the team’s purpose, goals, structure, boundaries and rules. Not paying attention to this stage, anytime it shows up, will weaken the foundation that is in place and drain energy from optimal outcomes. Shoring up the foundation when changes occur provides the necessary support for a team to move effectively toward great performance.

Broadening your awareness

What your team needs from you during the forming stage:

  • Team purpose and goals
  • Structure for completing tasks
  • Boundaries and rules for engaging within the team and outside of the team


A strong onboarding process and strategic relationship-building efforts between team members are keys to your team’s success.

Learn more about team optimization

Additional articles

Choose an Unrivaled Leadership Development Experience  (Article)

The BB&T Leadership Institute provides an unrivaled leadership development experience, thanks to its psychology-based programs and luxurious campus.

Is Your Company Growing Faster Than You Can Handle?  (Article)

Fast-growing companies often face hurdles. Learn how better business leadership can help overcome them and sustain business growth.

Change Management 101  (Article)

Learn how to master change management and ensure your change initiatives succeed despite employee resistance. 

How to Leave Your Business for a Week to Become a Better Leader  (Article)

Learn 5 reasons why you should spend a week away from work to participate in a leadership development program at The BB&T Leadership Institute. 

7 Reasons to Ask Your Company to Pay for Leadership Training  (Article)

The list of leadership training benefits is long. Learn how to convince your company to pay for the costs of it and other  professional development programs.

Learn about Leadership Training for School Principals  (Article)

Data from public school principals and their colleagues proves that the Mastering Leadership Dynamics for Educational Leaders program produces concrete results. 

Take the lead. Talk with us today.

Let's discuss your specific goals and needs.

Branch Banking and Trust Company is now Truist Bank. Learn more(opens in a new tab)