Four Stages of Team Building | How to Build a Successful Team

A happy and productive team is an essential ingredient in delievering success for any business. Whilst most businesses are aware of the benefits of positive team morale, few of them are aware of the four stages of team building required for successful business team development: Forming, Storming, Norming and Performing.

Following these four stages of team building ensures effective business team development through the progressive construction of a team which avoids the common dysfunctions which can develop between teams. Even for an established team, reviewing the four stages of team building is important to maintain morale and cohesion, thereby maintaining successful performance. This blog looks at the four stages of team building and how these can be achieved.

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The Four Stages of Team Building

1. Forming 

This is the stage during which co-workers get to know each other and build the trust which is essential for good individual relationships. An absence of trust will mean that team mates are not open with each other, will be unable to agree on strategy and operate less efficiently as they are unwilling to share tasks.

2. Storming

This is the stage at which teams address how they will function as a team, including issues of leadership. The potential for conflict at this stage, especially over issues of leadership mean it is essential that team’s establish good relationships and trust during the forming stage of team building.

3. Norming

This Stage of Team Building involves the agreement of how to divide required work and what role each team meber is to play in the accomplishment of the team’s goals. Neglecting the ‘storming phase of team building will result in an ad hoc assignment of tasks in which team members perform random disconnected tasks that fail to take into account their strengths and weaknesses.

4. Performing

This final phase of team building is the stage at which teams are actually working on the project itself or the everyday functioning of a team. This stage requires team’s to be actively helping and encouraging each other and holding team mates to account. The previous four stages of team building are vital to established the relationships, trust, understanding and coordination of roles and task required for successful performance.

Achieving the Four Stages of Team Building

Knowledge of the four phases listed above is useful in managing both the development of newly assembled teams and the continued successful performance of established teams. However two factors that can significantly smooth this process is good management from above and the use of fun engaging team building activities outside the team’s assigned work or projects.


The oversight of management benefits the four stages of team building as the natural authority and unbiased expertise of management smooths conflict in the assignment of roles. Moreover the trust of management in individual team members is likely to be reflected by the rest of the team.

Team Building Activities 

These are team activities outside the working environment which require teamwork and a range of individual skills such as problem solving, creativity, communication and leadership. Team Building activities are designed to be fun and engaging and are therefore an excellent way of forming relationships whilst becoming familiar with each other’s strengths. The fun pressure free environment assist with norming and storming and performing by requiring team’s to work together and perform in a pressure free environment