As the team moves through stages of development – orientation, dissatisfaction, integration, production, and termination – your leadership style responds to the team’s needs.

In the team’s orientation stage, the leader may need to be directive – dependent on authority to get the team off to a good start. Create a team charter, build relationships, link the team’s goals to the organizational goals.

The dissatisfaction stage – when the team is probably experiencing some confusion and frustration. They may be struggling with conflict and working together.  The team leader can support the team with a coaching leadership style – active listening, exploring options, encourage progress, recognize small milestones.

In the integration stage, a supportive leadership style works.  Collaboration builds confidence, cohesion, creative problem solving sessions boost productivity.

A delegating leadership style is appropriate in the production stage of the team.  Team feel positive about each other and their accomplishments; task focus is high.  Continued recognition and celebration make work fun.

In the termination stage of the team, the leader shifts to a supporting leadership style.  For teams with a distinct ending point, accepting and acknowledging the feelings that are present may be helpful. 

Diagnose the stage of your team and match your leadership style for higher performance.