Free Team Building Stages in Twelve Angry Men Essay Sample


In order to be considered as effective, a team often has to go through five stages. These stages are seen as a definition of the entire lifespan of any effective team. The need to go through each stage simply indicates that there is a specific growth pattern that a team must go through, similar to the lifespan of a human being with childhood, adolescent, early adulthood, adulthood and old age as the main stages. In Twelve Angry Men, each one of the jurors is an individual with a particular perspective on life as an adult. But when they are brought together to deliberate on the fate of the accused, they have to work as a team to find a resolution that will ensure that justice is served. Throughout the movie, the audience is taken through the development journey of a team, from forming stage all the way to the adjourning stage.

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At the forming stage, members involved must start to know each other and appreciate the roles each play. Most of the members in this stage would be anxious or even curious about the rest of the team. Others may be too polite and courteous and they may even avoid raising points or ideas that contradict what the other shave proposed within the team. Within the forming stage, the deliberations are not well balanced and for the most part the members are swayed by the opinion of the stronger or more vocal members of the team. In Twelve Angry Men, the forming stage is when the entire jury was willing to pass a guilty verdict on the accused without too much deliberation simply because a few of the members were convinced that the boy could have killed his father. At this point, none of the jurors knew about juror 3’s personal bias based on his own situation with his son so they were easily convinced by his strong convictions against the accused. As the jury started forming, the specific personalities and contexts of the jurors were coming out and they significantly affected the next stages of the jury’s team development.


In the team development process, the storming phase involves challenging authority or questioning the existing definitions on what is normal, what is right and what is wrong within the team. This often entails pushing boundaries and going beyond the expected limitations that are present at the beginning during team formation. During storming, there must be one or more characters within the team with a divergent opinion about the team perspective. Within the Twelve Angry Men movie, this determined character was juror 8. Juror 8 was the only member of the team who did not come in with a personal bias and he was able to challenge the perspectives of all the other jurors within the movie. He called out the various discrepancies in the presented evidence and generally proved that the evidence was not enough to prove beyond reasonable doubt that the young man had committed the crime. It can be appreciated that at this phase the jurors could not prove his innocence but they were able to prove that the evidence that had been presented so far was circumstantial at best. It is this perspective that helped the team to move forward.


During the norming stage, the team members accept the varying perspectives of the members and thus they begin appreciating the different opinions that come out of these perspectives. This is the stage during which the serious deliberations can actually begin. Each member is able to share their views and if they can fully justify their perspective then they are likely to be supported by other members on the team. Ideally, the norming phase is where each member takes their position within the team and they can start working like partners, where each member can freely contribute to the discussions and finding resolutions. In the film, the norming phase is seen when the other members actually pay attention to juror 8 despite the fact that they had already agreed on the possibility of a guilty verdict. When juror 8 was speaking to the rest of the team, his claims had seemed farfetched and at some point, ludicrous even. But by the end of his speech, he is able to make a few more jurors doubt the evidence as much as he did. These other jurors are able to see things his way, this starting the norming phase.


This stage is when every aspect in the group is working as expected. At this stage, all the facts of the case are established, all the biases have been noted and generally each member fully appreciates their role and responsibilities within the team. This is thus where the team gets to fully focus on their objectives. After juror 8 questions all the evidence that had been presented to convict the accused, the other members also start reasoning out more clearly. They get to find their own loopholes in the evidence while those who are still convinced of the boy’s guilt also continue to argue for the evidence. This is what the jury is really supposed to do. At this point in the team development stages, the jury can be said to have been performing. All the personal biases had been identified at this point and each juror was able to evaluate the case from the position of the accused. They were able to find more detailed discrepancies in the evidence and more members of the team started joining up with juror 8 in declaring the boy innocent.


Each team gets to a point of adjournment and the better teams often get to this stage after accomplishing their mission. In the jury’s case, the team was only formed to resolve the homicide case and after all the deliberation was over and the fate of the young man decided, the team had to be disbanded as each juror goes back to their daily lives. The adjournment stage may be difficult for a conventional team that gets to spend a lot of time together working on a given project but the jury is at best a temporary team that is not known to stick together over a long period of time. This means that there were no anticipated difficulties when the case was finished and the team could break off.


The Twelve Angry Men is a story about a team that gets to work together on a homicide case with very distinguished challenges on the reliability of the evidence. During the case, one of the jurors is able to see things differently and he takes on the leadership role, guiding the rest of the jury out of their initial biases. A jury may not be able to go through the stages of team development at a leisurely pace like most of the other teams but this team goes through each stage in the development process. The final decisions are always made in the performing stages after the different opinions have been aired and supported with evidence. Juries mostly rely on the available facts, and the work of the jurors was to question the evidence and ensure that there is no reasonable doubt. They managed to do this in the five stages of team development that they went through.


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