Article

8 behaviours of a cohesive team

By Cindy Riquier

Published February 3, 2022
Last updated February 28, 2022

A cohesive team is at the core of any successful business. A cohesive team can be likened to a well-engineered machine, where all of the individual parts work together smoothly and effectively, leading to consistent and quality results every time. By considering the separate components that make up a united partnership, we can establish how a high-performance team culture is built, and how we can further optimise management strategies in order to create a more compatible partnership. In the 8 points below, we will explore the Lencioni model, a profile system coined by American writer Patrick Lencioni in his bestselling book The Five Dysfunctions of a Team, as well as other important behaviours.

The Lencioni Model: 5 Behaviors of a Cohesive Team Assessment

Trust

Trust is not just relevant in personal relationships – it is the very core of an effective team. The most functional partnerships are built when team members feel comfortable with admitting their weaknesses and mistakes. When a team member can openly confess to these things without fear of judgement or repercussions, they have a feeling of psychological safety – something that is unfortunately absent in many work cultures.

These admissions can be very hard to make, but the benefits are remarkable. By encouraging a culture of openness, we avoid potential mistakes and stimulate the sharing of ideas. After all, new ideas will never appear or develop in a work culture that punishes or stigmatises people who want to speak out.

Constructive conflict

For a lot of people, including leaders, avoiding conflict is a basic instinct. However, to build a close-knit team dynamic, we must change the way we look at conflict. Instead of envisioning shouting and fighting, we must view it as a way of questioning existing ideas and allowing the sharing of all perspectives and issues.

What is the consequence of avoiding conflict? We end up ignoring useful feedback and suggestions, thus leading to decisions which are not as well-informed as they could be. A well-oiled team regularly engages in positive and constructive conflict, which leads to a communication of effective and creative ideas.

Commitment to the same goal

It may seem natural to base big decisions based on compromise, especially if a team does not engage properly with constructive conflict, as discussed above. However, Lencioni works on the belief that compromise does not always yield the best result. Instead, teams should use the above behaviours of trust and conflict to come to a mutual agreement about which idea they will move forward with. When the whole team is on board with the same common goal, even if they disagreed with the idea, they will have a more defined sense of purpose, leading to successful internal collaboration.

Accountability

Accountability is perhaps the biggest challenging behaviour to rectify in a team. Avoidance of accountability can lead to uncomfortable conversations. However, a cohesive team won’t fear these conversations. This kind of dialogue encourages improved performance standards and stimulates discussion about individual strengths and weaknesses. Without these discussions, a team may continue making the same mistakes, leading to poorer performance.

Pay attention to the results

The end goal of the team should always be the main focus. It’s important to acknowledge and consider individual needs but these should never take priority over the main goal. Distracting the focus from the main goal due to individual issues can lead to the business suffering as a result. By understanding how each and every team member contributes to the main result, a close-knit partnership with a common goal is created, thus putting the team in the best position for success.

Integrity

No matter what challenges a team may face, it is extremely important to stay loyal to the team’s professional standards and values. Not only does this maintain an air of professionalism, but it also supports efforts that focus on achieving the team’s common goals. Keeping a high level of integrity increases trust in a team, makes decisions more sincere and believable, and decreases unhelpful behaviours such as gossiping.

Leaving your ego outside

Having self-confidence is a very important and positive thing, but this should never get in the way of collective goals in the workplace. Team goals and objectives should always come before individual ambitions. If this does not happen, the common goals of the team are disrupted and the focus is lost in the name of selfish gain. Therefore, members of a close-knit team will make the important distinction between personal and team development goals and will understand that there is a time and a place for indulging their own ego and personal ambitions.

Empathy

No matter how methodical your job may be, or how strictly professional your relationship with your colleagues is, it can sometimes be easy to forget that each team member has their own struggles. United teams acknowledge how individual struggles, whether work-related or personal, can affect each other. This awareness creates a culture of respect and creates opportunities for team members to help and support each other. In a world where burnout and employee dissatisfaction are all too common and rising by the day, we cannot underestimate the power and importance of basic human empathy in the world of business.

To conclude, it is incredibly important to encourage a culture of open communication and adhesion to a common goal. By taking inspiration from the effective Lencioni behaviours model, as well as other important key behaviours, a cohesive team can be created in any area of business. As a result, we see improved results, higher employee satisfaction, and better progress towards the end goals.