October 8, 2009

Day 1 Committed to Self- Storm

I was introduced to the concept of “Form, Storm, Norm, Perform” by my friend KD. Here is the basic idea:

Forming happens when people first come together. They are initially polite and the conversation is mostly exploratory, finding out about one another and the work that is to be done.

People here are typically in the 'honeymoon' period and are quite excited about the newness and potential of being in the team. Some also may be more fearful and timid, whilst others are less gregarious, observing from the sidelines more than getting in there and exposing themselves

As the initial politeness fades, people start to get more into the work and their roles and so start to argue about things that were left unsaid or not realized when they first met.

Storming can be fiercer if one or more conditions exist:

* More than one dominant person who wants to be the leader (formal and/or social).
* Unclear formal roles
* Unclear objectives
* Little or large external threat

As roles and personal conflicts are sorted out, the focus turns towards the task and what needs to be done. Objectives are clarified and the detail of work is laid out. Feeling more as a team, people start to help one another more.

Socially, group rules develop and are refined. People begin to feel like they are members of the same team and form a clear sense of identity. Internal conflict may be replaced with external conflict as the human focus turns to 'us and them.'

Finally, a steady-state is achieved, where the team reaches and optimal level of performance. A good team will feel like a happy family whilst other teams reach working agreements where personal differences are managed and largely kept under control.

This is mostly geared at groups which work together. I think though that it also applies to a group of two, working out a life together.

I belive I am in the storm....and it seems to be lasting a long time, I am afraid we will not make it through.

“Was there a time you thought you wouldn’t get through something then did?“ is the question in 12 days journal #179, because I need to know it can be done.


  1. very interesting indeed. where does that sequence come from? like typical storms they do pass go gently sweet girl. om shanti

  2. I found this info at www.changingminds.org I am not sure if they are the ones who came up with it though, I would be interested to know.

  3. Forming, storming, norming, performing has been around for decades - at least since the 70's when I came to know it looking at group behavior in Behavioral Psych classes...
    ...as for the storming phase - yes, just like doing shadow work it can feel so hard at times while it can produce relationship gold if the parties stick it out. Seems storming is in the wind these days with many & happening in my life right now too... you are not alone. Find the calm in the centre of the storm (& Pema Chodron's "Start Where you are" can help too)...
    Blessings, Jo Ann

  4. Oh my god, are you kidding?! I've lost count of how many times this has happened to me. There've been times in my life when I never thought I would get through ANY hardship or struggle that came my way. I think I will answer your question more fully privately.

  5. I also have seen a lot of storming lately. It is strange. I have seen so many cars driving by where the people inside look like they are arguing fiercely, have just finished arguing fiercely or are simply very unhappy. Storms are everywhere right now. Bizarre.

    That is also a very good question Bernice. I think that it defines the last 4 years of my life.

  6. Yes, yes and yes again. I'm in a storm right now...where everything feels like being inside the eye of a whirling pressurized mess. I can't seem to take any sensible (or even nonsensical!) action, movement. feeling like a dog chasing her tail 'round and 'round, with some yelping and growling and falling on the bed crying jags thrown in for good measure. will I get out of it? will let you know. usually some duty calls me out of it externally but internally i continue to simmer, not knowing. resolution? this too shall pass? dunno yet...