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The Storm Around the Norms

Updated: Oct 15, 2019

Originally posted 3.9.17


Happy Thursday!


It’s funny how we were all feeling so good about the start of the year and how in just a few weeks, we are all feeling like things have taken a left turn of some sort. Perhaps we’re still feeling optimistic that things are on the right track, but there seems to be a sense from each of you in some way, that your teachers are feeling spent, overwhelmed, and concerned. In other words, maybe the honeymoon is over. In thinking about this, I think that’s okay. As much as the honeymoon is nice, it’s only after the honeymoon you really start to grow in your relationship.


This makes me think about the stages of team development. There are 4 stages of team development and, even if everyone on the team has worked together before, the introduction of a new task creates a reset for the team’s development. The image below highlights the first 4 stages as the role of the leader during each role.





Notice that the leader is front and center in the Forming Phase as s/he explains what the work will be. Then the leader shifts to the middle during the Storming Phase as s/he demonstrates what the work looks like. The leader moves to be just another member of the team during the Norming Phase. Finally, the leader is the observer in the Performing Phase because the team members are able to function without the leader’s assistance. Further explanation of this work is outlined below Notice that the leader is front and center in the Forming Phase as s/he explains what the work will be. Then the leader shifts to the middle during the Storming Phase as s/he demonstrates what the work looks like. The leader moves to be just another member of the team during the Norming Phase. Finally, the leader is the observer in the Performing Phase because the team members are able to function without the leader’s assistance. Further explanation of this work is outlined below



Notice that the leader is front and center in the Forming Phase as s/he explains what the work will be. Then the leader shifts to the middle during the Storming Phase as s/he demonstrates what the work looks like. The leader moves to be just another member of the team during the Norming Phase. Finally, the leader is the observer in the Performing Phase because the team members are able to function without the leader’s assistance.


As you read through this please consider an area in your school that would qualify as being under each of the headings since at any given time, you have areas where you’re Forming, Storming, Norming, and Performing. Then, think about how you were able to move to the Norming and Performing Phases. This reflection will help you to think through how to get past the Storming Phase because you have done this before. What’s more, every team that has gotten to Norming and Performing must go through Storming. It is unavoidable. The best you can do is minimize the length of time spent Storming. Therefore, my question to you this week is how can you minimize the time you spend in the Storming Phase and how can you embrace the benefits of Storming rather than resisting it?


~Heather

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