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The Secrets to Understanding the 5 Behaviors of a Cohesive Team

There are 5 behaviors of a cohesive team that every business owner, and every member of a team for that matter, ought to know. By fostering these behaviors in a team, both efficiency and morale spike upwards.

What are these five behaviors? Join us as we review each one, discussing how exactly they help a team and build towards the next “step” of the behavioral ladder.

5 behaviors of a cohesive team

#1: Trust

Trust is critical to a cohesive team. We might even go so far as to say, of all the important behaviors discussed in this article, this is the most important.

The reason for this is pretty simple: trust is the foundation of any healthy relationship. If you cannot trust someone, they cannot do much of significance for you.

In a team, you need to rely on those around you to put in a good faith effort to help the group, support fellow team members, and admit mistakes or faults as needed.

Without trust, the rest of the behaviors we discuss more or less won’t work. At best, they will be possible only on shaky, unreliable terms. A team without trust will be tense, inefficient, and often hostile.

#2: Conflict

Considering the above, this may seem like odd behavior to encourage. However, part of the whole point of the 5 behaviors model is these points aren’t in isolation.

If you trust someone, you can disagree with them without worrying they will get angry or snip back at you. Instead, the focus can be on challenging and building upon the ideas being presented to come to the best results.

A team should have disagreements. This is a well-understood fact and, on some level, the whole point of teams. What is important is conflict is productive, constructive, and in good faith.

Nobody is making the claim teams should be squabbling or otherwise arguing for the sake of being contrary. The purpose of healthy conflict is so that the best ideas with the most support rise to the top.

#3: Commitment

A team member that isn’t committed to the goals of a team arguably isn’t a member of that team.

There’s some nuance to this, of course. An employee cannot dedicate all of themselves to a team’s goals every moment of every day. However, on the whole, at least at work, a team member needs to be committed.

The reason for encouraging this behavior is somewhat self-explanatory. Like trust, a team needs the commitment to maintaining cohesion. If members don’t care about the team or its goals, they’re not a team.

Imagine trying to undergo family business succession, where a business transitions to the next generation of family members, with those members not committed to the business. Things will quickly fall to pieces.

Not every member of an organization has the same goals but they must be committed to trying to achieve whatever goals fit their role. This is a simple fact of business; it is how almost everything a business does is achieved.

#4: Accountability

Accountability is the brother of trust. To be accountable is to be held responsible for, and accept responsibility for, one’s actions.

This is often applied to failings, which is an important part of accountability, but also should be applied to successes too. In short, the good and bad things employees do should be noticed and rewarded or punished as appropriate.

Accountability can be a major issue in family businesses, where it may be harder to reprimand certain members of a team. (This is where a family business coach can help encourage positive behavior management may be finding hard to foster.)

The mistake many teams make, and the managers watching over them is to treat a team member’s actions as the group’s actions. This does harm in two ways simultaneously.

First, it allows sub-par team members to hide from responsibility for mistakes or other harmful behavior. Even if the group is reprimanded, it will be clear to the individual members management doesn’t really care about who is to blame.

Second, team members who achieve various successes and breakthroughs will get their names buried. Worse, often a team’s lead will get the credit for the hard work of individuals in a team who deserve credit.

Altogether, accountability helps encourage individuals who are doing well and discourage those who are acting out of line. This helps a team improve and hold itself to a high standard.

#5: Results

A team without results is a club. In business, teams exist to achieve certain ends. Results are those ends.

Now, we admit, what reasonable “results” look like will depend on the industry and goals of a team. For example, for a research team, even a well-run project often ends in inconclusive or disappointing results. But there should be results.

This point is somewhat more “concrete” than the others in that it is often something that can be checked and observed. After all, a team is either achieving its goals or it isn’t.

When a team isn’t achieving its goals, both they and management should be asking why that’s the case. This feeds into accountability; is the failure on the team or are the goals unrealistic?

This is why it is critical a team understand what sort of results can reasonably be expected of them and in what time frame. Meeting (or exceeding) that baseline is important to an effective team.

Foster These 5 Behaviors of a Cohesive Team Today

The 5 behaviors of a cohesive team that we discussed above are a simple way of explaining how to form something critical to most businesses. Cohesive teams are all but required for an efficient, long-lasting business.

If you’re curious about how Positively People can help unlock the potential of you and your employees, contact us! We offer fantastic 5 behaviors assessment courses to help test your team and foster in them the skills we discussed today!