Shortly after we have formed a team, people start to become more comfortable and confident to engage in conflict. “I think we should go with Plan A.” “Well, I think we should go with Plan B.” This stage of team development is called storming.

Conflict is a healthy sign for a team. Conflict demonstrates that team members trust each other and are willing to discuss different viewpoints.

The storming stage includes the generation and evaluation of ideas. Team members consider the positive and negative aspects of all ideas. Members speak up about concerns, reservations, and hesitations.

It might be a good time to rotate the role of critical thinker a couple of times during the discussion to take the pressure off and relieve tension. A sort of friendly reminder that the critical thinker, is just a necessary role to be played, and not a personal attack.

This also is a good time to re-visit and re-examine the team’s goals, evaluation criteria, and key objectives. It is important to keep the team on track.

When teams are in the storming stage, keep this in mind:

  • Better decisions are generally made when there are disagreements.
  • Veiled discussions and guarded comments have no value.
  • The way to get commitment from individual team members is by having passionate and open debate.

For more on this topic, watch a preview of Kit Welchlin’s keynote seminar on Team Building. And don’t forget to check back to every Monday for a new video blog.