Norming and Performing in Group Process
STAGE III: ADULTHOOD
Now, the frustration of the first two stages is behind them — in the past, and the group can finally pull together as a real group, not merely a collection of individuals. Here the group becomes a cohesive unit as it begins to negotiate roles and processes for accomplishing its task. Functional relationships are explored and established in spite of differences. The group is ready to tackle its goals, working together collaboratively. With the accomplishment of some goals, group members may gain and share insights into the factors that contribute to or hinder their success.
Interpersonally, members are now working out of affection or a caring about others in a deeper, less superficial manner than before. Meaningful functional relationships develop between members. Leadership issues are resolved through interdependent behaviour, or working with others. Tasks are accomplished by recognizing unique talents in the group–leading where appropriate and sanctioned and following where productive and necessary. As this interplay occurs, trust evolves.
The experience of accomplishment, whether it be successfully reaching consensus or solving a group problem, provides a powerful unifying force. The sense of “group-ness” a feeling of the uniqueness of the group with all its strength and faults, occurs. The group now has an identity of its own that is in no way diminished by its having evolved through the same cycle as countless other groups.