Stages Of : Forming, Dependency And Inclusion

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Stage One: Forming, Dependency and Inclusion When the group forms for the first time, members are depending on the group leader to provide guidance. “A major characteristic of this first stage of group development is the significant amount of member dependency on the designated leader” (Wheelan, 1994, p. 14). Each member is hoping they will be accepted and included as a member. According to Wheelan (2005a) “The initial stage of development focuses on issues of inclusion and dependency, as members attempt to identify behavior acceptable to the leader and other group members” (p. 119). The group leader may be perceived as a parent figure. In the same way people experience stages of life from childhood to old age, so too, does the group. In the same way a child is dependent, and looks towards their parent(s) for guidance and protection, so to, will the group members (Tuckman, 1965, p. 387; Wheelan, 1994, p. 14; Wheelan, 2003, p. 224; Wheelan, 2005a, p. 119; Forsyth & Burnette, 2005, p. 11). Tuckman identified and distinguished two realms that existed in each stage of development, an interpersonal realm and a task realm. Interpersonal is the emotional component of how members act and relate to one another. The task component is simply the activity of the group. Both realms do occur simultaneously. For example, the interpersonal component of testing and dependence occurs in conjunction with the task of orientation’ (Tuckman, 1965, p. 385). Tuckman (1965) stated

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