Cohesive teams are those that work together and achieve results.
They don’t care about titles or who gets credit—they just want to do their best work, together. A cohesive team is driven by relationships, trust, and accountability, but there are a few key behaviors that can help you build one.
5 behaviors of a cohesive team – Key principles to build successful teams!
Trust one another.
Trust is the foundation of a cohesive team, and it’s built over time through a series of small interactions (like trusting your teammate not to spill their drink on your keyboard). However, trust isn’t something that can be given or taken away—it’s earned by showing others that you’re trustworthy.”Trust” is often included in business school syllabi as an example of how organizations are built on relationships rather than transactions. In this way, trust isn’t merely something you do with someone else; it’s also something they do with you.
If we take our previous definition of “cohesive team” and replace the word “trust” with other terms like “communication” or “unity,” we’ll get insights into how teams behave differently depending on their degree of cohesion: Teams that communicate well but lack unity are more likely to come up with great ideas but struggle to implement them effectively because there are disagreements about how best go about achieving those goals; teams who work together productively but don’t feel like friends may have better executional efficiency than those who have stronger personal bonds but aren’t always able agree on strategic direction; finally even though some organizations don’t seem very invested in developing friendships among coworkers (e., they’re not very friendly), these firms’ high levels of productivity and profitability mean they stand out from competitors even though they might seem less communal at first glance.”
Engage in unfiltered conflict around ideas.
Conflict is a great thing for your team, as long as you manage it properly. Unfiltered conflict is essential to innovation and creativity. It’s easy to get caught up in the idea of being “nice” or “getting along,” but when you touch on something new and different, there will be disagreement. And that’s okay! During unfiltered conflicts around ideas, people need to give their honest feedback without fear of hurting one another’s feelings or losing face. It sounds intimidating at first — but in practice it’s actually quite simple:
- Don’t take things
- Speak up when you disagree with an idea (and why)
- Stay focused on the topic at hand
Commit to decisions and plans of action.
Commitment is about making decisions, aligning your actions with your beliefs, being accountable to the team, and ensuring that the team’s success is always more important than yours.
This behavior starts with a commitment to make decisions. A cohesive team makes decisions as a group and doesn’t tolerate individual people coming up with their own path forward without talking it through first. It’s all about alignment: if you have different ideas, work them out so everyone can be on the same page before moving forward. This shows respect for each person’s perspective and gives them an opportunity to express themselves without feeling shut down or overlooked (or worse!) ignored completely.
It also means being willing to commit when it comes time for action—and then following through on those commitments no matter what challenges arise along the way. In other words: commit early and often! No half-committing allowed! Get fully invested in everything you do so that even when things get tough or stressful—or both at once—you know that you’ll stay strong until everything is done well enough for everyone involved…
Hold one another accountable.
When you think of accountability, the first thing that comes to mind is probably a “to do” list or a checklist. But here’s the thing: accountability doesn’t just apply to tasks and obligations. It also means taking responsibility for one another’s actions and mistakes, without getting lost in blame or shame.
When a team member holds someone else accountable for something, they’re saying “I’m not okay with this behavior/decision/result—and I need you to change it so we can get back on track together.” Accountability is about moving forward as an organization and team, together—so there should never be any judgment or blame involved in holding each other accountable.
In order for your team members’ accountability efforts to be effective, however…they’ll need some help from you! As the manager or leader of your group:
- Be clear about what needs changing (e.g., “We should’ve hired more people earlier!”)
- Model good behaviors yourself (“I haven’t been contributing enough lately; here’s how I’ll make up for it.”)
- Demonstrate how everyone benefits from holding each other accountable (“If we hold ourselves responsible instead of blaming others when things go wrong then we’ll save time by focusing on solving problems rather than complaining.”).
Focus on the achievement of collective results.
Results are the ultimate goal of any team. When you work in a cohesive environment, your fellow teammates do their part and help you achieve results. They recognize that there’s no point in working together if you’re not going to achieve something significant by doing so. And here’s where it starts: results are what you get when you put in the work. Every day, every week, every month—you’ll see the fruits of your labor come together into a collective outcome that reflects all the hard work done by everyone involved with producing it.
You can measure those results as well—how much money did we make? How many customers did we attract to our platform? What was our conversion rate? It doesn’t matter how big or small these numbers may be; what matters is that they’re there because they’re tangible evidence of progress made toward achieving something greater than yourself or one person could accomplish on their own. These days especially, when it feels like everything around us is constantly changing at an unprecedented pace with no end in sight, having something concrete and measurable makes all the difference between success and failure (or worse).
But most importantly: Your customers will notice too! Whether they use your product themselves or buy from someone who produces something using yours—the more cohesive your team becomes over time (and this should always be aspirational), then everyone involved benefits from an increased sense of trustworthiness among consumers who want nothing more than piece-of-mind knowing who stands behind whatever product(s) grace their shelves today…and tomorrow’s too!
Above all, cohesive teams are about relationships, trust, and accountability.
They’re not driven by a single leader or boss. They work toward a common goal as individuals who have each been given the opportunity to contribute meaningfully to that goal by their peers in the team environment.
Cohesive teams are about relationships—within the group itself and between its members and outside stakeholders like customers or other departments within their organization (or with other external partners). These relationships allow members of your team to share information easily when it comes time for actionable decisions: for example, when one person discovers something interesting about an upcoming project area another member may know exactly how best to communicate this information internally or externally (and vice versa).
Cohesive teams are also characterized by high levels of trust among all participants: both in terms of interpersonal behavior (i.e., how do they get along?) as well as interdepartmental cooperation (i.e., how well do they work together?). This kind of trust allows teams with high cohesion levels greater flexibility when tackling difficult problems because they don’t need approval from higher-ups before making decisions; instead they rely on one another’s judgment while maintaining accountability among team members at every level – including yours!
If you want to build a cohesive team, remember that it takes time and effort.
You need to be willing to engage in unfiltered conflict around ideas, commit to decisions and plans of action, hold one another accountable for results, and focus on achieving collective results. Above all else, cohesive teams are about relationships: trust one another!