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Form, Storm or Norm?

This Week's Simple Tip

Knowing that there is a normal progression of developmental stages that people go through when they come together as a group really does make some of the growing pains easier to accept.

This progression occurs whether the people are work colleagues, on a sports team, friends, etc. If even holds true with families as they evolve. I have been experiencing this first-hand over the past few years as our family has grown to include two daughter-in-laws, two new grand-babies, and two grand-dogs.

When groups originate and/or change, they typically go through four developmental stages: Form, Storm, Norm and Perform. The "honeymoon" begins at the Form stage, until people in the group start to argue about things that were left unsaid or not realized when they first met. This is what leads to the inevitable Storm phase. Sharing and open communication are essential in order to sort through conflicts and evolve to the new group Norm. And then finally, a steady-state is reached, and the group coalesces at the Perform stage. What is important to remember is that change is constant in life, and it's a process. We are always going through these stages, in one situation or another. The key to getting through them quicker and less painfully is through open sharing of feelings and the acceptance that change is inevitable.


This Week's Focus

This week, think about relationships that may be causing you some angst. What stage of development are you in either with the people, the project, etc.? Is there something you can share that might explain things and move from the Storm to the Norm stage? Click on the serenity sticky to print, cut and post on your bathroom mirror to remind you of this week's focus. Good luck!

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