Working in a group is quite an experience, and the experience I got from the group assignment given by the human resource lecturer reminded me of the four stages of group development model. The group developed through the four stages of the model, exhibiting characteristics similar to those described by the model at each stage.
At first, we formed the group, which is the first stage of the group development model; the group had a leader and other seven members. At the first meeting, we could not make any progress because some members thought that they were not fit to be in the group; they were worried of the ability of the group to work together to produce good results (Tuckman and Jensen, 2007).
Everyone was waiting for guidance and direction from the group leader; no one was willing to give suggestions because they feared creating bad expressions and being judged by other group members (Adelson, 2000). The first meeting was not fruitful, but the group leader instructed the members to research on the assignment.
According to the group development model, the second stage is storming, which is characterized by interpersonal-relations conflict and competition on the task function dimensions. During the organization of tasks conflicts arise because group members have different attitudes, beliefs and feeling on how best tasks should be done (Lundgren, 2003).
During the second meeting of the group assignment, the group leader proposed that each one research on a specific section of the assignment, then present it to the rest of the group members before compiling.
This suggestion was opposed by some members, two of the group members thought that it was a waste of time while one thought that he was good at compiling; therefore, he should be given a task to compile researched work (Mann, 997). All these reactions created tension because everyone wanted things to be done his way; however, the group leader urged them to listen to the reason why he chose the working procedure.
All the group members decided to listen to the group leader, and at the end, they realized that the proposal of the group leader could help them learn more on the topic of the assignment. The differences were solved and the meeting ended with everyone responsible for a specific task of the assignment.
The next meetings were successful with everyone giving updates on the progress of the research; I noticed a great change in attitudes of the group members, and during presentation, everyone acknowledged the contribution of members with little corrections and directions on the sections of emphasis in the research. In this case, the leadership was being shared by all members, and this is one of the characteristics of a group in the norming stage (Tuckman, 2005).
The group members became free with one another; I remember one of the group members called me to seek clarification on the scope of his task. This showed good inter-personal relations and commitment, with everyone sharing information at both personal and task level; at this time, everyone was feeling good being part of the group and according to me, this was the best group for the assignment.
When it came to compiling the work, everyone was willing to do it, unfortunately, it had to be done by one person to ensure flow of the essay. According to the group development model, this is expected at the fourth stage, which is the performing stage.
Any problem that was presented was handled as a group, everyone wanted the best out of the assignment; therefore, unity was valued (Tuckman and Jensen, 2007). The assignment was completed successfully and handed in, and most of us were willing to come together again in the future group assignments.
Looking at the development of the group, it is evident that it evolved through the four phases of the group development model, which are forming, storming, norming and finally performing. This shows that the group developed like any other group, and its development is according to the four-phase model.
Adelson, J. (2000). Feedback and group development. Small group behavior, 6(4), pp. 389-401.
Lundgren, D. (2003). Attitudinal and behavioral correlates of emergent status in training groups. The Journal of Social Psychology, 90(3), pp. 141-153.
Mann, R. (1997). Interpersonal style and group development. New York: John Wiley.
Tuckman, B. (2005). Developmental Sequence in Small Groups. Psychological Bulletin, 63(4), pp. 384-399.
Tuckman, B. & Jensen, M. (2007). Stages of Small Group Development. Group and Organizational Studies, 2(1), pp. 419-427.