Leader’s Role in Team Building Phases

Team is a group of individual assigned to achieve their goals. Each member in the team has its own strengths and weaknesses. To move them in right direction towards achieving team objective is always a challenging task. We have seen many team failures and many teams getting success. There are numerous factors contributing in result wither it is success or failure.

What happens when a team gets failure?

Who gets the blame for it?

And who gets the credit when they are successful?

In weak leadership normally there is a blame-shifting to each in case of failure and in other cases, the weak leadership tries to get the credit for winning. There are numerous factors and behaviors in both failure and winning cases of the team. I will be discussing one of the factors in recognizing the team phase and taking the appropriate step in each phase of the team.

There are mainly five phases of team building which are as:

  1. Forming:
  2. Storming
  3. Norming
  4. Performing
  5. Adjourning


Is the team building stage, in this stage define the individual roles, develop trust, communication and norms. It is the initial phase of a team where team members are new to each other and the environment. They are excited, motivated, and optimistic since they are new.

The team members have not yet faced the practical problems. What happens is that in this stage of the team when team members start doing their job they come across many problems and the results which they were expecting most of them are unable to achieve some maybe yes. Team members are asking such questions as “What does the team offer to me?” “What is expected from me?”

The role of the team leader is to:

  • Encourage and maintain open communication.
  • Help the team develop and follow team norms.
  • Help the team focuses on the task.
  • Deal constructively with conflict


Since the biggest motivation to any individual is getting success which they are initially unable to achieve the team members get into storming i.e. the second phase of the team they may start thinking negatively. It is the most difficult phase of the team. Many conflicts during this stage may emerge as a result of harmony and synergy is not achieved. To get through this stage, members must work to overcome obstacles, to accept individual differences, and to work through conflicting ideas on team tasks and goals. Teams can get bogged down in this stage. Failure to address conflicts may result in long-term problems.

Storming diagnosis

  • Do we have common goals and objectives?
  • Do we agree on roles and responsibilities?
  • Do our tasks, communication, and decision system work?
  • Do we have adequate interpersonal skills?


If the team survives in the storming stage and they are able to resolve their conflicts and overcome the obstacles the team is getting used to each other and they understand the environment they are working in.

During this stage members accept:

  • Their team.
  • Team rules and procedures.
  • Their roles in the team
  • The individuality of fellow members.

Team members realize that they are not going to crash-and-burn and start helping each other they start moving closer to results which motivates them and normalizes the individual behavior since they are sensing the victory.


  • A competitive relationship becomes more cooperative.
  • There is a willingness to confront issues and solve problems.
  • The team develops the ability to express criticism constructively.
  • There is a sense of team spirit


The team member starts achieving their objectives they are more positive and cooperative to each other and feeling confidant. There is a clear and stable structure, and members are committed to the team’s mission. Problems and conflicts still emerge, but they are dealt with constructively. The team is focused on problem-solving and meeting team goals.

Team members have:

  • Gained insight into personal and team processes.
  • A better understanding of each other’s strengths & weaknesses.
  • Gained the ability to prevent or work through group conflict and resolve differences.
  • Develop a close attachment to the team


In the adjourning stage most of the results have been achieved by the team. The emphasis is on wrapping up final tasks and documenting the effort and results.

The leader’s role:

As a leader, it is important to know that team is in what phase as the strategy to deal with will be different in each case e.g. in forming stage one has to back up the team more patient and has to give guidance to the team members one has to be more supportive. In this stage. In the storming stage great efforts are needed to calm down the individuals and put a lot of effort into keeping team members positive. Back up the team and give them the confidence that they can do it. In the performing stage, one has to be more calculative, motivating, and analytical so that no individual misses the target.

Zulfiqar Ali Qureshi

Business Consultant, Trainer,  Blogger, Author and a speaker!

This Post Has 3 Comments

  1. Nasir Mehmood

    Step by step execution can draw a beautiful picture of successful team.

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