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The Stages of Group Development

Personal stages people go through when taking part in a group.

1. Who is here?

I wonder how I will fit in?

I feel uncomfortable.

2. What ideas, experiences, expertise can I contribute?

Do I agree or disagree with what others are saying?

What's in it for me?

3. I want to share with others what I think.

I side with others who have the same point of view.

I'm starting to feel more comfortable.

4. I feel free to share my ideas, opinions, and feelings.

I listen to other group members.

I feel the need for closure after a meeting.

How people act toward each other when taking part in a group.

1. Small talk.


Limited disclosure.

Relationships begin to form.

2. Who will lead?

Whose side am I on?

Compete with others based on personal agendas.

Fight or flight.

Quiet apprehensions.

3. Self disclosure.

Here's how I do it.

Recognizing other ideas.

Listening more carefully.

Commitment to emerging leadership.

4. Praise and criticism.

Straight talk.

Having fun too.

Paraphrasing, perception checking occurs more naturally.

Trying to understand each other.

How the whole group acts stage by stage.

1. Why are we here?

What's our assigned task?

Identify strengths of group.

2. What's the real problem?

Resistance to others.

What's our mission, goals, strategy?

How will we proceed?

3. Open exchange of ideas, information.

Problem definition.

More trust.

Urgency to identify, evaluate solutions.

4. Decision making.

Intensity about task completion.

Relationship and results oriented.

Shared responsibility for group process.

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