We all appreciate from our common sense that a team will work best together if all members hold good, strong relationships with each other – it feels to us like a general rule we can apply. But of course those good relations are not always easy to come by, or indeed manufacture. Past experience and personalities can get in the way, creating friction and sources of teamworking difficulty. Processes are held up, or delivery timeframes lengthened by any frayed connections that exist within the team. Therefore, teams need a plan of action, so they can move more towards behaving like the cohesive team they can be.
That’s where Patrick Lencioni’s Five Behaviours of a Cohesive Team comes in. His model provides us with 5 behaviours which a team, well actually its individual members, can become aware of and practice, enabling their team to collectively oil its wheels and operate most productively. It’s all about what you do, how you behave, as a good team member – personalities and negative experiences from the past need not be excuses.
So what are these 5 Behaviours of a Cohesive Team?
Building Trust – This is about admitting mistakes and weaknesses, accepting questions, offering apologies and giving the benefit of the doubt. These behaviours help to generate ‘vulnerability-based trust’ between team members, a huge source of powerful connectivity.
Mastering Conflict – Once trust is built, the conflict that inevitability occurs wherever there is a difference of perspective or opinion is must more easily managed. Here the focus is on debating important issues, focusing on ideas to collaborate, expressing feelings, listening to others and encouraging a calm demeanour.
Achieving Commitment – If differences are openly discussed and worked through, commitment will more easily build to the agreed way forward. For this to happen, team members need to be voicing objections, clarifying their agreements with each other and taking responsibility to row in behind a collective group decision, even if they didn’t agree or it wasn’t their original preference.
Embracing Accountability – When commitment is present, accountability can more easily be taken. Here, team members need to be clarifying roles & responsibilities, creating up front agreements on the shared goal and what each will deliver, holding each other to account on delivery and giving each other supportive (specific, positive and behaviour-orientated) feedback to encourage their collective journeys.
Focusing on Collective Results – With collective accountability, the shared goal will become very clear and meaningful. Here, cohesive team members will be avoiding distractions, prioritising the team goal over individual preferences, allocating time to work together, leading by example, setting clear KPIs and celebrating collective successes.
So how is your team doing?
At T-Space, we can use the 5Bs assessment to help your team understand its cohesiveness index. Then through 3 x 1 day team workshops, we can review outcomes, learn about and practice the cohesive behaviours, consider possible ways forward and fully support team members to devise a collective plan of action on each of the 5 core behaviours. Very soon, your cohesive team will be feeling good and powering away towards great collective successes.
Contact us to find out more.