Forming, Storming, Norming, Performing

Forming, Storming, Norming, Performing

Bruce Tuckman’s 1965 Team-Development Model

There is so much going on in the world right now! It’s so crazy. I don’t know about you but I like to sit back and watch what’s going on, and see how I can relate that to what’s going on in my life personally.

Then I ask myself, “What can I do to empower myself? What can I do to empower others, and what can I do to make an impact in the world around me?”

What I’m seeing most of (and it’s really interesting for me) as I love to watch people’s behaviours is storming. What do I mean by that? Read on and I’ll explain….

I had an example of it on my personal Facebook wall. I had a so-called friend of mine completely abuse me because he had a different opinion about what’s going on in the world.

Now everyone’s opinion is valid, and if we don’t learn from each other and have open, honest feedback for each other, we can never learn and grow as individuals, or as a society.

What I’m seeing on a global scale is people putting other people down. You’ve got to be fairly strong enough in your own views to be able to put what you want out on social media these days, because there’s a lot of backlash.

It’s very easy for people to write you off as a conspiracy theorist, or say, oh you’ve got a tin hat, or say you are fear mongering, or call you names, etc.

These people that do that to you tend not to have a good argument for the opposite of what you’re saying. Take a look at their Facebook page and see what they stand for.

Many of them won’t stand up and have a voice in front of people who they can’t abuse. So, it’s very easy to just try and shut you down. I see that as a form of abuse and I don’t tolerate it!

That’s what abusers do. They gaslight you. They make you feel like you’re stupid and that you’re not thinking straight.

That’s how they work. That’s what I’m seeing in society right now, and I think it’s shocking that friends are doing this to other friends.

We’re not going to learn and grow as people, or as a society all the while we’re doing this to each other.

Getting back to storming, (I did say I would get to it). It is something I studied many years ago when I was doing my NLP & hypnotherapy teacher training. It was written by a psychologist in the 60’s called Bruce Tuckman.

When the model started off there was four different parts, or four stages of development. The first one was on forming. Then it goes onto storming. Then it goes onto norming. Then performing, and then later he’s added adjourning – which is like the end of the project.

Forming – Storming – Norming – Performing – Adjourning

A lot of people use this in group development these days. We also need to look at this on a global scale at the moment. We are not going to get through this, if we can’t go through the storming phase!

I am going to briefly go through these phases now.


This happens when a new group comes together. The roles are unclear, the objective is unclear. People are trying to find their purpose, trying to find some clear objectives.

At the moment our world has just been thrown upside down and I can see that’s where the world is right now. We’re trying to piece things together and find out what’s going on.


Once a group is together. They then need to start talking about things. They need to find some clarity. Having discussions is part of the storming phase. People get frustrated about other people’s opinions.

They push against boundaries. They’re trying to get their opinions met. The other people are also trying to get heard.

This needs to happen in a functioning group. This is a perfect stage because you need to knuckle out all of the parts that don’t really serve you. You can come up with a solution this way.

What I’m finding right now, is it’s very easy for people to just knock people down, and by doing this, we won’t get through this phase.

We won’t get into the norming or performing phase if people are just abusing each other all the time.

By shutting other people’s opinions down you’re making that person invalid.  

I don’t know everything, you don’t know everything, but finding a common ground through open, loving conversation is what we need to get through this.

There isn’t one person in the world that knows everything, but if we can start piecing together facts, we can start finding a place where we can sit in the world, where we can actually work together.

To make this a more harmonious world that we’re living in right now.

So, we’ve gone from forming to storming and then when we get through the storming, we go into…


This is when life gets a bit better. People know their roles. The conflicts are sorted out. People get stronger, they work together.

They can come up with solutions so then we can develop our future. Once this happens, we move on to the next stage.


Now we start performing the tasks. We have a shared vision, a shared goal. We get the task done.

What we need to realise is, if we don’t go through these stages where we actually talk to each other openly, and feel safe expressing ourselves, we’re never going to get past that stage.

We’re never going to get clarity. We’re never going to get stronger and work together, because we’re stuck in stuffing down our emotions, and stuffing down what we feel, because we’re too scared to talk about it out loud to people.

This is how the world is right now. Then we go on to stage five…


If this was in a team management situation, it’s about finishing the project. It’s about being successful and leaving the project finished and feeling fulfilled.

Isn’t this the outcome that we want in the world right now? Don’t we want a more harmonious world? A place where there is less crazy going on?

I am a therapist who helps people who have been abused, and I want to tell you that the people who gaslight and call you names, are not very strong people. They’re weak people. They try and make you feel small because they can’t build themselves up.

So, what I would like to say is, if you are out there telling the truth. If you are out there giving your opinion in a loving way. Whether your opinion is wrong or right – doesn’t matter.

It’s about standing up, having an opinion, then giving other people space to do the same, so we can all learn from each other. So, let’s start the stage of storming and make an impact in the world.

Start asking yourself, how can we resolve this together? How can we start thinking differently? How can we start doing things differently to actually start coming together as a functioning group? That’s what we need right now globally.

Please write your suggestions in the comment box.

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Sharon White

If you would like to learn more and work with me one on one I would love to work with you. I am passionate about people having a voice, being heard and creating the change you want in your life.

You can contact me at to see how I can help you. Sharon is the founder of Global Healing Exchange. You can work with her on her Emotional Freedom Program here.

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