In this stage, the group is coming together. Individuals are still tentative and hesitant about their roles within the group and try to avoid conflict as much as possible. The driving need for individuals in this stage is to be accepted by the others.
Thus, in this stage, people stay away from serious subjects and controversies or conflicts and concentrate on getting along together.
This is also the stage where they try to organise themselves and their roles and routines and get comfortable in each other's company.
For the task-group, however, this means that nothing really gets done.
Once the group's members achieve a certain comfort level and sense of belonging, they begin to address some of the serious issues at hand. Thus starts the conflict or "storming" stage of the group's development.
This is the stage where confrontations happen and differences are thrashed out. The disputes may be task-oriented or personality clashes or even organisational or administrative (I don't like my role; I want that responsibility; I don't like doing this; I'm doing most of the work; I don't like your attitude; I don't think this is the way to go; Saturday mornings are impossible for me...).
Most of these skirmishes are generally dealt with, but the underlying conflict remains and sometimes the group may find itself almost polarised. It is at this point that members of the group may want rules or norms and begin looking for structural and procedural clarity. Here begins the norming, or the laying down of the group's norms.
In this stage, the scope of the group, its tasks or goals or character are clarified, its procedures laid out and agreed upon.
Group members have now had their arguments and disputes and have gone beyond the tentative stage of trying to please each other. They can now look at each other and be with each other and belong with each other as they are, not as they seemed to be. They now know each other's...