How Team Development and Learning Are Related

Team development and learning are closely connected in my view you don't get one without the other. On the basis that you have an established team or have already formed the team and by that I mean you understand the functions the team should have and defined and populated your team. You may be ready for what I call the team development and learning phase.

How to Address the Forming Stage

Team development and Learning Connection:

  • Social Learning :Team members need to learn about each other what skills, experience sand strengths others bring to the table. They also need to learn about each other’s style and trustworthiness.
  • Purpose Learning: Team members need to clarify and translate the team purpose in a way that is meaningful for themProcess learning: The Team starts to develop routines and ways of working and communicating
  • Team Activities : This is the right time to provide lots of opportunities for the team to work with each other both formal team working on things like a “team charter” and “team vision” but also informal getting to know each other activities. Do not underestimate the importance of just allowing team member’s to hang out together. But do not skip the clarifying activities around team purpose either.

    Learn more about modern team coaching approaches here

    How To Address the Storming Phase
    The shine comes off the new team and peoples true styles start to emerge from an initial respectful politeness. Some team member’s start to show emotions like impatience and frustration at a lack of progress.


    Team development and Learning Connection:
  • Social learning: There is a greater focus on interactions and a greater desire for more meaningful and constructive relationships with others. Here team member’s need to learn about their hot spots, be honest about their feelings and develop self-awareness on the impact of their current behaviours.
  • Purpose Learning: The Team may become distracted and many need the opportunity to reflect on wto learn ere it is compared with its aspirations and vision . It is useful to share the key stages of team development model so the team can make sense of where it is and where it needs to be.
  • Process learning This is a good time to emphasise good team process and reconnect with any previous thinking on team rules of engagement
  • Team Activities: Don’t ignore this stage and create opportunities for reflective thinking on frustrations and conflicts. Get the team to hold up a mirror to itself. Anchor future activities in the team purpose and goals and create action plans accordingly. More on team development and learning here

    How to Address the Norming Stage


    Team development and Learning Connection
  • Social Learning The team has the remit to work on and iron out its differences and reduce the incidence of unhelpful conflict. It is a time to bed in protocols and ways of dealing with differences of opinion. If the team is ready it might be appropriate to use some sort of team diagnostic or 360 feedback process to enable the team and its individual learn where things are at and how their views compare with others.
  • Process Learning By this stage , the team usually has established some good process and routines . The detail around what the team needs to do in order to reach its goals becomes very important. This is an opportune time to check in regularly on existing plans and progress against them. Let the team start to learn how to modify and manage its own priorities and activities.
  • Purpose Learning Create opportunities for discussion and feedback and collaborative decision making to allow the team connect with the team purpose to help aid prioritisation and focus going forward. Start to identify from an outside in perspective how the team needs to interact more effectively with its stakeholders.

    Check Out this video on how to build a winning team you will I think see the connections with team development and learning.

    How to Address the Performing Stage
    This is the action stage where the team is getting near to an optimum way of working.
    Learning Connection

  • Social Learning:Build upon high levels of trust to encourage more lateral thinking and problem solving within the team. Have think tanks to brainstorm ideas and improvement suggestions.Process Learning: Have frequent discussions on how to improve, transform or eliminate processes
  • Purpose LearningAllow the team to regulate its activity and create opportunities for acknowledgment and celebration of learning and achievement. Start looking for the next big leap forward.

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