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Storming in Group Process

Storming in Group Process

STAGE II: ADOLESCENCE

When a common level of expectation is developed, the group can then move into the stormy stage of Adolescence. This can be a most difficult stage of development to tolerate. This stage cannot be avoided, as it is a crucial stage dealing with power and decision making — necessary skills for the future functioning of the group.

In Stage II, after a base level of expectations and similarities is established, individuals begin challenges in a bid to regain their individuality, power, and influence. Individuals start to respond to the perceived demands of their task, usually with a full range of emotions. Regardless of how clear the task or structure of the group, group members react and will generally attack the leadership (and any emerging leaders within the group). Bids for power and influence may either take the form of attacks or covert non-support. Interpersonally, members move through their own control needs, both to be in control and to have a sense of direction.

The leadership issue is one of counterdependence, that is, attempting to resolve the dependence felt at Stage I by reacting negatively to any leadership which is evident. By doing so, members remain dependent in that they are reacting, not initiating. Until individuals break out of this frustrating cycle of reaction and begin initiating independent and interdependent behaviour, they will remain in the maze of Stage II.

As group members continue in their attempts to create acceptable processes for decision making in the group, they will lead themselves into Stage III. The activity and skills gained in this stage are essential for the group to proceed. If the group tries to escape from the unpleasantness of this stage, it will experience failure and will return to Stage I & II again until the process is completed and power issues identified,, including decision making.

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