On some of these occasions, I was also able to improve matters.
The "Forming" phase is when the team members first meet, introductions are made and the team members start to get along (or at least try to do so). I saw my contribution here as being strong, because I like to make acquaintances and it is a natural thing for me to make the first contact. The second phase, "Storming", is when the team starts to move towards a defined result. This is where differences of opinion may arise, for example about what result is in fact required or how to get that result. Sometimes personal preferences or even tempers may slow down progress, and the polite behaviour of the first phase ("Forming") may give way to open confrontation. My contribution at the beginning was neither strong, nor weak. I have my own opinions and at times did not agree with other members of the team. However, the experience of working with colleagues and understanding that two people can have different points of view without necessarily being wrong on either side was a good one for me. It prepared me better for the third phase of "Norming". In "Norming", team members have got to know one another and can get down to doing productive work. Thanks to the "Storming" phase, I was much better able to contribute to the "Norming" phase, and to accept and make best use of the differences in background and approach of the different team members. As we had all selected different papers to critique as one of the exercises in the "International People Management" module, there was healthy discussion and exchange of information on the different subjects that team members had chosen. There is always room for improvement, but I felt that I had strength in this phase.
My personal disappointment was not being able to fully participate in the fourth phase of the team interactions, that of "Performing". In this fourth phase, Tuckman defines the team working together efficiently and in cooperation to move to a common goal. Not participating as I might have wanted to in the presentation with the critique that I had done on Harzing's paper on international management transfers was a shame. I felt that I had strength in this area, but I also understand that part of the strength of team working is to understand when the team is better served by letting other people take the lead. In this sense, I believe that I learnt something and further improved my capabilities and experience here. Although Tuckman' model is probably best-known in its version with four phases, he also added a fifth one later, which he called "Adjourning" for the break-up of the team, for example at the end of a project. We did not really accomplish such a fifth phase (or really only very informally).
The Belbin role model
This second model defined by Belbin deals with the different roles that team members can take within a team. The Belbin model is quite detailed and a team member may play several roles at the same time. This is often the case for teams with a small number of team members. Dr Meredith Belbin defined nine separate roles, each role being "a tendency to behave, contribute and interrelate with others in a particular way." I describe the roles below and