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During the Forming stage, the interaction between group members is typically cautious. People are 'feeling' one another out and new comers or recent additions tend to be on their 'best behaviour'.

In the second phase, sub-groups, 'cliques' and coalitions often form (C4's 'Big Brother' provides insight into this); conflict, disagreement and resistance are common.

By the time the group gets to the Norming phase, bonding is well under way and a feeling of 'in-group' develops; typically, it is only after this phase that the group will be in a position to perform at its best.

 

Comment:

An understanding of how small groups typically develop is essential for anyone engaged in areas like Management, Human Resources, Supervision, Leadership or Training. In particular, given the focus of the pages on this site, such awareness is essential (if not occasionally critical) for the Lead or Principal Investigator. First of all, we need to realise that many groups (for a range of reasons) will never...Read More.