As a leader, have you been affected by miscommunication, mistrust, fear of conflict or lack of commitment?
Establishing a strong, united team can be just as challenging for managers who work with teams frequently as it is for those less experienced in team dynamics.
A cohesive team requires time and commitment; one quarterly retreat or a weekly meeting with no active discussion just doesn’t cut it.
As a leader, the cohesivity of your team relies on your actions and guidance. With a proactive approach, you can build a strong team aligned towards common goals, who produce exceptional results and enjoy the work they do.
When warning signs of a dysfunctional team begin to chip away at your business’s potential for growth, it’s time to step in and revitalize the cohesivity.
Deterring dysfunction starts with establishing a clear focus and plan to resolve your team’s issues.
The Five Behaviors of a Cohesive Team ™
Based on Patrick Lencioni’s Five Dysfunctions of a Team model, The Five Behaviors of a Cohesive Team ™ is an assessment-based team building experience, supporting teams and work groups in:
- Trusting one another
- Engaging in healthy conflict around issues
- Committing to decisions
- Holding one another accountable
- Focusing on achieving collective results
When your team is on-board with a common mission and thriving as a unit, your business reaps the rewards of truly exceptional results.
Let’s look at some useful tips you can implement in your organization to overcome common workplace “speed bumps” and pave the way to smoother sailing:
1. Build Trust
The creator and mastermind behind The Five Behaviors of a Cohesive Team ™, Patrick Lencioni says:
¨If we don’t trust one another; then we aren’t going to engage in open, constructive, ideological conflict. And we’ll just continue to preserve a sense of artificial harmony.¨
I love that quote because it touches on a supremely important and core element of trust: familiarity.
How many times have you heard the phrase, “people do business with those they know, like and trust?”
Take a simple situation for example: you need to hire a home inspector before putting an offer on a new house. You can base your decision on the recommendation of your long-time neighbor and acquaintance or a cyber-stranger on Yelp! Who will you choose?
As humans, we are partial to familiarity because it implies a certain level of trust. The same goes for your workplace dynamics.
Get to know your employees — their hobbies, families, interests, values, work experiences, etc. Share stories and engage on a level beyond just the professional. Empathy is built when individuals take time to get to know one another, a valuable tool in creating trust.
2. Manage Conflict Productively
When your team comes to a crossroads and is divided on an issue are they able to engage in productive conflict, or is it a total free-for-all?
Believe it or not, conflict is a good thing. It opens the possibilities to better, more creative solutions and ultimately makes your team stronger. If there was total, 100% agreement on every topic, there would be no room for growth.
Managing productive conflict requires leaders to create an environment where team members are:
- Invested in maintaining the relationship
- Committed to finding win/win solutions
- Willing to participate in open and honest dialogue and debate
3. Define Clear Goals
Without a mission and clearly defined goals, team members have no incentive or motivation to achieve. In a team environment, lack of clarity can be like a domino effect; once one falls off track, the rest follow suit.
Make your organization’s purpose crystal clear by establishing definitive goals and expectations. Every team member needs to understand their function in the organization, as well as how their work impacts that of their co-workers and vice-versa.
Clarity keeps employees focused and on a set path to success.
I truly believe The Five Behaviors of a Cohesive Team ™ can transform your team and resolve workplace dysfunctions.
Let’s discuss your team’s specific needs and how The Five Behaviors of a Cohesive Team ™ can fit into your organization.
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