Pushing a team or a group to be a good and productive team is always a challenge. I and my friends just finished an opening face-to-face session of a part of AACE course where we had to form a team in purpose of finishing some projects. And now, we should make an assessment of our team development progress.
Where are we?
In order to assess our team development, we are suggested by our professor, Dr. Paul D. Giammalvo, to use 32 questionnaires from http://www.nwlink.com/~donclark/leader/teamsuv.html. The result of the assessment from my point of view is the summary below.
Forming : 31
Storming : 26
Norming : 24
Performing : 25
The scores show that the group development stage we are now is still in forming stage. According to Tuckman’s model (Figure 1), forming stage is characterized of less participation of the members because they are still keeping their politeness and anxiety. The barriers of among members are there and they need more acquaintance to get along though we had the clear objectives. This is a problem to be managed to moving forward the group to the next stage otherwise we will not have a good and productive team.
Figure 1. Tuckman Model of Group Development Stages
The Management/Leadership Style Choices
Now after we know our stage the questions arisen are: What should we do now to manage the group problems? What kind of leadership we need to implement appropriately?
There are many theories of leadership models according to Scouller (2011), because he criticized four older models and suggested his Three Levels of Leadership model based on leadership presence. For answering this problem, I am going to use three major leadership styles theories including Blanchard & Hershey’s Lifecycle Theory of Leadership/Situational Leadership theory, Kurt Lewin’s Management Style theory, and Tannebaum & Schmidt’s Continuum of Leadership Behaviors theory based on situational/contingency theory according to Scouller’s (2011) classification.
Blanchard & Hershey (1969) proposed about the way a leader should do in the stage of a team development. It’s like mirroring the situation in stages in Tuckman’s model. In forming stage, a leader should tell or direct to the members.
Figure 2. Blanchard & Hershey Situational Leadership Theory Model
Lewin & White (1939) suggested the models based on the control between the management and employee. Situationally, the forming stage is where the control of the members is low. The autocratic style is very adaptive in the forming stage.
Figure 3. Kurt Lewin Management Style Theory Model
Adopted from http://www.nwlink.com/~donclark/leader/leadstl.html
Tannenbaum & Schmidt (1973) researched the management’s way in decision making. In forming stage, a manager or a leader should decide more than members do.
Figure 4 Tannenbaum & Schmidt’s Continuum of Leadership Behaviors Model
In conclusion, in order to solve the team problems in the forming stage and move forward to the next stage, the leader should have more tells/directions (Situational Leadership), more control in autocratic style (Management Style), and more decisions made (Continuum of Leadership Behaviors). After the next stage attained, the leader should lose some of its power and control to the members.
Hersey, P. and Blanchard, K. H. (1969). Life cycle theory of leadership. Training and Development Journal, 23 (5), 26–34.
Hersey, P. and Blanchard, K. H. (1977). Management of Organizational Behavior 3rd Edition: Utilizing Human Resources. New Jersey/Prentice Hall
Lewin, K., LIippit, R. and White, R. K. (1939). Patterns of aggressive behavior in experimentally created social climates. Journal of Social Psychology, 10, 271-301
Scouller, J. (2011). The Three Levels of Leadership: How to Develop Your Leadership Presence, Knowhow and Skill. Cirencester: Management Books 2000., ISBN 9781852526818
Tannenbaum, R., Schmidt, W (1973). How to choose a leadership pattern. Harvard Business Review, May/June 1973
Tuckman, Bruce (1965). “Developmental sequence in small groups”. Psychological Bulletin 63 (6): 384–99. doi:10.1037/h0022100. PMID 14314073. Retrieved 2008-11-10. “Reprinted with permission in Group Facilitation, Spring 2001”