Kurt Lewin’s Freeze Phases for Team Development
Kurt Lewin is one of the giants of 20th Century psychology. And one of his best contributions is Kurt Lewin’s Freeze Phases model of how people go through transitions.
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This video is part of course module number 4.3.1
Program 4: Managing & Leading Groups
Course 3: Teams
Section 1: Team Development & Team Building
Other videos in this section include:
– What is a Team https://youtu.be/nq2Arav7t4Q
– The Tuckman Team Development Model https://youtu.be/-nlMJcTAz_g
– Accelerate Team Development with Swift Trust https://youtu.be/aiVYyDCz-3s
– Establishing Team Behavior Norms https://youtu.be/4-TM6kINcUs
– Team Building Events: Why, What, and How? https://youtu.be/nhwBZ4lssM8
– John Whitmore’s Team Development Model https://youtu.be/VxPzQMseW7E
– Cog’s Ladder of Group Experiences https://youtu.be/aVqp7Zr5DW4
– The Drexler-Sibbet Team Performance Model https://youtu.be/HjEvSjkD7L0
Kurt Lewin’s Freeze Phases model applies very well to group development and team formation:
Lewin identified the first phase of change as unfreezing established patterns and structures. We start off by clinging to old certainties. So, in the first phase, we need to challenge those attitudes and beliefs – even values – and open ourselves up to alternatives.
The second phase is changing. In this phase, we go through the transition. It is a time of uncertainty and even confusion, as we struggle to create a clear idea of the new thinking that will replace the old.
The plasticity of response means that good leadership is essential; the alternative is that people will follow whatever weak leadership they can find. Hence susceptibility to gossip and rumour in times of change. This is akin to the struggles for dominance and roles in Tuckman’s storming stage.
Eventually, we settle into our new team. Lewin’s third phase is freezing (I prefer re-freezing) the new ways of being into place, to establish a new mindset.
In this phase, people adapt to their new role and start to find ways to capitalize on the opportunities it offers. Alternatively, they make a decision to opt out of the team and move on.
Lewin was clear that the phases represent parts of a journey; a continuous process. The model has suffered a degree of neglect – largely because his use of the term “phases” has led to some false interpretations that he was referring to three static stages.
1. Kurt Lewin’s Freeze Phases is a very different model to Tuckman, Cog, or Drexler-Sibbet. How would you compare the similarities and differences? (2 MC CPD Points)
2. How well does Lewin’s Freeze Phases model represent your own experiences of group formation and team development? What aspects work well and less well? (2 MC CPD Points)
– CPD Tools – https://gum.co/MC-CPD
– Management Courses Onboarding Kit – https://gum.co/MC-ObK ($3)
– The Five Dysfunctions of a Team https://geni.us/wbIE
– The Wisdom of Teams https://geni.us/7i1AL
– The Belbin Guide to Succeeding at Work https://geni.us/Kzc4GV4
– Dream Teams: Working Together Without Falling Apart https://geni.us/oAgEOdA
– Pulling Together: 10 Rules for High-Performance Teamwork https://geni.us/zUVV3G
– HBR’s 10 Must Reads on Teams https://geni.us/0DLsNe4
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