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Phase Models in Group Development
Growing up in a small city such as Hurtsboro, Alabama, there were very few groups or small group of students who did a lot within the school setting. However, I can remember a small group that I belong to, the Student Government Association (SGA). I was proud of being part of the school where the students voices were actually being heard because we were always being told what to do.
Tuckman’s model begins with the forming process. According to Adams & Galanes (2017), forming occurs when group members first meet. Members form initial impressions of one another, start to get a handle on the group’s task, and focus on getting along (p. 91). The forming process of SGA was the initial interest meeting where we received the rules and procedures of how the group will be formed. We had a President, Vice-President, Secretary, Treasurer, Historian (which were elected) and two representatives from each grade level. I was the class secretary because I felt that this was important role because it was a role where I would know everything because I had to take the meeting minutes. When all members were elected and we had our first meeting we formally introduced ourselves. Being in a small town most of us already knew each other. This actually made the group more cohesive.
Storming is like the brainstorming process used when coming up with ideas that you want the group to come up with. Storming occurs when members start to tackle the group’s important issues and strong feelings start to surface (Adams & Galanes, 2017, p. 91). Storming was did when we had to come up with activities for the student body. Everyone had to be in agreement before we could take these ideas to administration. In one intense session we wanted to have a homecoming dance but we wanted to make to where only juniors and seniors could attend. This did not sit well with the lower class representatives because they felt if they could come cheer on the football team they should be able to celebrate with them afterwards and this was a valid point, so at the end all grades was able to attend.
We established our norms and procedures at the first real meeting after elections. The norming stage occurs when the group has worked through its initial conflicts to establish its rules and norms about how it will operate (Adam & Galanes, 2017, p. 92). Most of the norms was established by our facilitator, Ms. Jennings, which also the schools Social Studies teacher.
Once we had the norms established and the ideas out there from each grade level, the performing stage was easy. The president took all ideas into consideration and as a group we decided what will benefit the student body or what our principal would allow us to actually do. What we would do is look at the pros and cons of each idea and along with the input of our facilitator (teacher), we would decide what to take to the principal for consideration. He did not agree with every idea but he did like the idea that we were working together.
Lastly, adjourning. As the group completes its task, members prepare for the group to disband. They may agree to keep in touch, and, in fact, some relationships are likely to continue after the group’s life has ended (Adams & Galanes, 2017, p. 92). As far as the meetings, we always said our creed at the end of each meeting. As for keeping in touch, I do not visit my old town often, but when I do, I do not see many of our SGA members because most have moved out of the area, some has even passed away. The remaining ones, when we have class reunions we always make it our business the catch up with each other, talk about times in school and just have fun. As a group we developed and grew together. We learned how to work as a unit despite our different grade levels.
Adams, K., & Galanes, G. (2017). Communicating in groups: Application and skills (10th ed.). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill
Chapter 5: Becoming a Group
Chapter 6: Working with Diversity in the Small Group
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