Updated: Mar 4, 2019
There’s actually a word out that best defines what keeps companies - and teams - from getting to the next level. It’s what keeps leaders and managers from being more effective, and what keeps team members from being more productive. That word is “storming”. Storming is the miscommunication and tensions that arise from being regularly unaligned and not on the same page. Storming is a real problem, everywhere. Therefore, if you want to grow your business, or your team, you must learn how to reduce and get past unnecessary storming.
A study back in the 50’s that coined the word is still a sobering reality today. Bruce Tuckman explained that storming is that phase in the life of teams where the internal workings become dysfunctional and the breakdown of communications hinders them from growing and getting to the next level. Unfortunately this is the phase where most companies and teams find themselves in.
What causes storming:
Before storming happens, team members enjoyed a degree of teamwork, collaboration, and decision-making that stimulated growth.
Sure there were differences, but the teams were able to make quick decisions, brainstorm in unity, and progress effectively.
The culture was productive, and there was a spirit of teamwork that made the growth not only possible but enjoyable.
Then the inevitable happens: the company starts growing. New team members start arriving, more people are involved, more opinions have to be considered, roles get jumbled up, and processes quickly become outdated. What worked before does not work now.
If any of this is real to you, you must get out of storming. If you don’t get out of storming, storming will make the following things happen:
You will have to be satisfied with limited growth and limited results.
Ideas and innovation will remain stifled. Problems will go unresolved
Employees will start to leave, or worse, they will stay but they will disengage.
Employees often times leave because they feel no one is listening anymore, things get unbearable, and they are willing to jump to another company for a few dollars more—or sometimes for less or equal pay—so long as the teamwork atmosphere is better, calmer, healthier.
So there is no getting around it. You cannot get stuck in storming. You have to face it. In our upcoming blogs, we’ll tackle storming, show you how to chase storms down, how to get through the storms and into safer and drier ground.