In the 1960s, Bruce Tuckman proposed four stages of group development and added a fifth a decade later. These stages can help those of you who want to discuss groups you have been part of.
Stage 1: FormingIn the first stage, group members are introduced to one another. They introduce themselves, get to know one another, and establish boundaries primarily through testing. Systems of dependence and hierarchy bud during this stage.
Stage 2: StormingIn the second stage, conflict intensifies as the group members polarize, generally over emotional and interpersonal issues.
Stage 3: NormingIn the third stage, barriers begin to crumble as group members develop working relationships. Not only does hostility lessen at this stage, but members also develop roles that help them to achieve their goal or task.
Stage 4: PerformingBy the fourth stage, the group's roles become more dynamic, changing organically in ways that allow the team to accomplish a variety of tasks. At this level, group members devote less energy to personal dynamics and more to the attainment of the goal.
Stage 5: AdjourningIn the final stage, members of the group see the end of the group in its current form approaching. Roles begin to dissolve, and dependence on one another lessens. The members prepare to move on.
In terms of stories, I will let you take it where you want. As I first read the list of stages, these stages seemed apparent in the following situations:
- Parents and children from birth to the time they leave home
- School classes or groups of school friends
- Sports teams
- Groups of parents gathering around children's activities
- Teams at the office