stage III of team development


In stage III of team development, the team experiences cohesiveness and becomes more autonomous. Having worked through the conflicts that arise in stage I and stage II, team members have now developed the skills to communicate and support each other towards achieving team goals. Here is an article and video, Navigating Through the IV Stages Of Team Development.


stage III of team developmentAs the team develops an identity and members become sensitive to the needs of others, the trust level between members increases. Team members become sensitive to the needs of others and people are more willing to share ideas, information and opinions.


The manager or supervisor defines limits of authority and delegates higher level decisions to the team. The team members become responsible for administrative tasks that previously was performed by the manager. They can take on high level responsibilities such as the hiring and firing of team members.


Thus, the team is become empowered to decide on the team’s makeup and success. For this to happen the manager or supervisor needs to have evolved his/her style of leadership towards a participative style.

Relationship skills

The skills required by team members at stage III of team development is mutual coaching for continued mutual support and for setting goals in accordance with the company’s overall mission and goals.

Tasks related skills

In stage III of team development, the team is becoming more self managing and can assume all managerial responsibilities. The supervisor leads an autonomous team.


The team practices continuous improvement and prepares reports and proposals for management that all team members take turns in presenting.


The skills that team members need to learn at this stage are the ability to interpret data correctly, conduct continuous improvement initiatives and how to communicate effectively with management.


Successful teams

stage III of team developmentFew teams make it fully to this stage and may only display certain components of it. Leadership of the organization needs to understand the relationship and task considerations at each stage to note what stage each team is at. They also need to ensure that managers and supervisors are evolving their style of leadership to be participative.


Do your team members support and coach each other?

Are team members sensitive to the needs of others?

Is the manager or supervisor delegating managerial responsibilities to the team?

Can the team hire and fire team members?

Is the team empowered to decide what makes them successful?

Is the team setting goals on their own?

Is data they need to measure performance and success being provided?

Do the team members know how to analyse and interpret the data?

Is the team practicing continuous improvement and able to present their ideas to management?

Answer the questions above and see what you need to do to bring your team to the Stage III of team development. Involve the team, plan and take action.


makes employees work harder

What Makes Employees Work Harder?

A recent study of 400,000 people claims to have uncovered the main factor that causes people to want to work harder. It’s their perception of the way people are promoted in their organization.


If people perceive the process for promotion as fair, they seem to have higher engagement with the organization and a better view of their leaders.


The reference to the study was published in an article by




diplomatic disagreement

How to Confront Employees using Diplomatic Disagreement

Diplomatic disagreement is an advanced form of active listening where you confront an employee to state your point of view that is contrary to theirs’.


It is used when you want to keep the discussion positive and yet confront another person’s perspective without causing the discussion to escalate to a conflict.


The more employees engage in team problem solving and discussions for improvement the greater the potential for disagreements and conflict. Employees need to be skilled in good communication techniques to avoid communication from breaking down and people becoming resistant.


Steps to Diplomatic Disagreement

  1. Listen and reflect
  2. Value the other person
  3. State your own views


Here is an example



A task team was formed to work on improving communication between the engineering and marketing departments. One employee expresses this to another:


“these meeting are going to be a waste of time. We’ve tried improving things in the past and it has never worked. I’m fed up with these initiatives that go nowhere”.


Your response using the three steps could be as follows:


  1. You feel pessimistic about the possibility of making any improvements and don’t want to waste your time, is that how you feel?

Wait for the answer

  1. “I don’t blame you for having reservations. It’s true that past efforts did not bring about much improvement”
  2. “But I think this time will be different. There is a new department head who sees how important it is to solve the issues between our departments. I feel confident that management will listen to our recommendations and act this time. We can already see there is new hope being expressed by many team members. I think we all need to stay positive and do our part”.

Look for opportunities to put this into practice in your work environment, especially active listening as it is important to use listen and reflect first before stating your view.


active listening

Active Listening Workbook Practice Exercises

Active listening must be practiced for it to feel natural. I explained all about active listening as an essential employee communication tool in my last article in video. Using my practice exercises can help you assure your understanding on active listening. It is highly recommended to use these exercises as part of a team meeting or workshop.


Active listening will enable team discussions to arrive at consensus, which is crucial for the evolution and empowerment of the team. It is also a must to learn to use diplomatic disagreement, another highly effective communication tool. I will cover this in my next article and video.


You can download the practice worksheet though this link.


active listening