Performing Stage of Group Development: Definition & Explanation

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Instructor: Donna Swarthout

Donna has a B.A. in German, B.A. in Political Science, and M.A. in Political Science from University of California, Berkeley. She has over 20 years of teaching experience at the college level in subjects including business and political science.

In the performing stage of group development, groups increase their cohesion and problem-solving skills. Delve into Tuckman's stages of group development, learn the features of the performing stage and find out what happens next. Updated: 09/14/2021

Stages of Group Development

Bruce Tuckman identified four stages of group development in 1965: forming, storming, norming,_and performing. He added a fifth stage called adjourning in 1977. Tuckman suggested that groups move through these stages in sequential order and that the length of each stage varies from group to group. Once a group successfully addresses the key challenges in each stage, it is ready to move on to the next. This lesson covers the performing stage of group development, when groups reach their peak performance level. Be sure to check out our other lesson on the forming, storming, and norming stages too, perhaps even before delving too deeply into instruction about this fourth stage in Tuckman's model.

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Performing Stage of Group Development

Perhaps you've been part of a group that played a vital role in helping an organization accomplish something important. Such accomplishments often occur during the performing stage of group development. A group or team that reaches the performing stage displays a level of competence, trust, and experience that is less apparent in the earlier stages of group development. The group is mature and able to solve problems with minimal supervision. Team leaders readily delegate tasks to the group. Strong relationships among team members facilitate a smooth flow of work and the members are willing to support and assist each other. All of these characteristics facilitate peak performance during the fourth stage of group development.

A group that has reached the performing stage of group development is highly cohesive. This means the members are committed to work cooperatively to achieve the group's goals. The group routinely accepts delegated tasks and the members stay focused on fulfilling the group's mission. A cohesive group still has conflicts and disagreements, but it can resolve them with minimal disruption to the group's activities.

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