We are all parts of groups at times. Likewise, at one point or another groups always come to a end for on reason or another. For some it is because of different paths of life and for others it is just because a task or goal has been completed. Some groups I find myself having a hard time saying good-bye to and others it comes as more of a relief. One of the groups that I have been a part of that I had the hardest time saying goodbye to was with my two best friends. Life simply led us in different areas of the United States. It was extremely hard to say goodbye because we feared the unknown. We feared what would become of our friendship as the miles increased. Other aspects that made it hard to say goodbye were due to the level of trust we had in each other. We had become dependent on one another to be a listening ear, for encouragement, to give company, and the list goes on. We had very clear established norms and rarely encountered times of conflict within our group. Yet, when we did we were able to work through it because we were committed to the relationships we had formed with each other and we trusted each other greatly. The closing ritual we implemented was one of remembering what we had. We took a night to just spend time together us girls and think about how our friendship had started and how close we had grown in a matter of years. We did what girls do – eat, laugh, and cry! We made plans to have certain days of the month to call and check in on each other and we promised to keep this commitment. This for us allowed closure.
When it comes time for me to adjourn from the group of colleagues I have formed while working on my master’s degree program I anticipate some bittersweet feelings. The aspects that will make it difficult to adjourn include the shared vision and goals we all have, the encouragement I have received from everyone, and the significant insights I have gained while working alongside each of you. The parts that I would define as “sweet” include the feelings of such accomplishment that allow for feelings of closure. To know we have reached our goal in earning our master’s will make the adjourning stage much easier to encounter.
Adjourning is an essential stage of teamwork because it allows for closure as well as growth. Even in teams that are not successful at completing their goals can experience times of growth in the adjourning stage. It allows groups to take insights learned to apply to future groups they will become a part of. Yet, these same insights can occur for highly successful groups as well. It allows for groups members to take what they have learned with them and reapply.