• Donald Davis

The Power of Creating Cohesive Teams

Updated: Oct 14



The power of creating cohesive teams

It’s no secret that teamwork is crucial to the success of any organization. Research shows that teams with a high degree of cohesion are more productive, innovative, and effective than other groups. “Approximately 97% of employees believe lack of alignment within a team impacts the outcome of a task or project. And the opposite is true as well.” (Boyce) This lack of cohesion prevents many organizations form being able to create high performing teams.


The importance of teamwork has only become more apparent in recent times because of virtual work and COVID. More than simply working together to accomplish a goal or task, however, cohesive teams possess great power that can shift an organization. Cohesiveness leverages the resources among the small groups or teams allowing teams to achieve greater success for the company.


The one area of focus for any company should be to develop cohesive teams and celebrate successes that are brought about by cohesive teams. Having employees and managers who strongly believe in and leverage team effort to accomplish goals may still be missing out on the real power of a cohesive group. There is a distinct advantage in organizations who invest in team development that results in cohesive teams.





How to create a cohesive team

There are five factors in creating team cohesion that are needed across the organization in order to be able to even start building team cohesion:


  1. Vision - Create a common vision of the future of the team that is inclusive of team goals.

  2. Diversity - Building team members and diverse talents that benefit the organization and align with business goals.

  3. Leadership - Good leaders must be selected to support the team members and manage group dynamics that focus on the common goal and result in a high performing team.

  4. Trust - Build trust in the team and building trust with the broader organization.

  5. Communication - Communicate effectively and hold each other accountable.


Additionally, there are a few key characteristics that are important for creating cohesive teams within the team itself: shared vision, good communication, leadership, trust, and accountability. These factors described further below will help improve a teams ability to improve team cohesiveness.



1. Shared Vision of the Future

Creating a company, team, or project vision of the future isn’t fundamentally different. You have to consider the destination, the headwinds and tailwinds that will buffet the journey, and why this effort is important to the entire team.


Additionally, ensuring that the team is involved in the development of the vision for the team

will provide a strong sense of ownership and shared responsibility.


A team's success needs to have a clear and shared vision of what they are trying to achieve. Without a shared vision, the whole team will be working towards different goals and objectives, which can lead to conflict and frustration. This vision will provide the ability for the individuals in the organization to see the point on the horizon that they are aiming for so that they can build the plans that help them achieve the objective.




2. Team Communication

Good communication is key to any successful relationship. The same is true for teams. If team members cannot effectively communicate with each other, the team will not be able to function cohesively. This can lead to missed deadlines, poor quality work, and even conflict among team members. Open communications start with employees and managers holding the view that they are part of a cohesive group. To improve team cohesiveness teams need to discuss how to best communicate with each other.


Strong team communication starts with the team leader. The leader needs to create an environment where team members feel comfortable communicating openly and honestly. They should encourage everyone on the team to share their ideas and suggestions, and they should be willing to listen to everyone’s input. This open communication will help the team work together more effectively and efficiently.


A cohesive team is a productive team. Open communication is one of the greatest traits of a cohesive team. When team members are able to communicate openly and work together harmoniously, the team can accomplish great things. Strong cohesiveness is achieved by accepting new ideas and working as a group to resolve conflicts. By fostering strong communication within your team, you can help your team become a more cohesive unit and achieve success.



3. Team Leadership

Strong team cohesion starts with the role a leader plays in ensuring that the team remain united and a commitment to ensuring that the team functions smoothly and efficiently.


Group's success typically has a leader who is responsible for guiding team performance and improving team cohesiveness. Additionally, great leaders of teams work with their teammates to consider team development, team effectiveness and where they need to improve team cohesion. Because of a cohesive team's ability and impact on many organization the team's development is often overlooked but is critical. Group members will greatly value the opportunity to be invested in.


Team leaders are responsible for setting the team's goals and objectives, as well as keeping the team motivated. In order to be an effective leader, it is important to possess a number of leadership skills and key qualities, such as strong communication skills, good organizational capabilities and ability to think creatively. Additionally, an important aspect of being a successful team leader is the ability to build trust, support, and rapport within the team. Excellent leaders also have a strong sense to resolve conflict.


Team goals as well as individual goals are more likely to be successful in achieving if the team leader is effective in his or her role. Has the ability to set the tone for the team and provide direction and guidance. By possessing the necessary qualities and skills, a team leader can help to create a positive and productive team environment, where everyone works together towards a common goal.



4. The Importance of Fostering Trust within a Team

In building cohesive teams each individual needs to build empathy, respect, support, and trust among their peers. Demonstrating that they are committed to the success of the team and achieving the vision.


Effective team members often rely on pattern recognition for decision-making, while poor teams use power structure and politics in their decision-making process. This means that the collective experience of the team is extremely valuable to be able to influence pattern recognition across the team. One individual’s experience may be extremely limited as would be their pattern recognition. However, a small group of five people can have a vast amount of experience members share that can help with overall decision-making.



5. Holding Each other Accountable

The best group works together in setting goals but also the team's ability of pushing back when one team member or another is not performing. This level of accountability in a cohesive team broadly helps the overall organization manage performance and will improve team cohesion. Not wanting to let your team down can be a strong motivator to look at critical tasks and develop plans to deliver.


This involves creating communication channels where team members feel comfortable communicating openly with each other and sharing ideas and thoughts freely. It is also important to encourage teamwork, like setting team-building activities for collaboration, while at the same time promoting individual accountability.



Team Cohesiveness - Understanding Personalities

There are a number of potential challenges to cohesive teams. One big challenge may be that the collective personalities may clash with unknown reasons for the challenges. In these cases, the DISC assessment provides a quantitative way of looking at personalities collaborating and changing together.


“The DISC assessment was developed in 1920 by psychologist William Moulton Marston as an attempt to identify people’s dominant traits so they could be better understood. The four categories are Dominance (D), Influencing (I), Steadiness (S) and Conscientiousness (C).” “These four letters represent the different ways people interact with others including how they take charge, what makes them tick or change.


By using a DISC profile for forming cohesive teams, you will learn about yourself and those around you so that you can work together more effectively every day at work or at home! You will also gain insight into how different personalities interact within groups of people who have similar goals but may not always see eye-to-eye on everything along the way towards achieving them. This is especially useful if there are any conflicts between members of your group because it gives everyone involved an opportunity to speak up about their feelings without fear of judgment or retribution from anyone else involved in the project/team/group dynamic!


If you are interested in building a cohesive team or if you would like for your team to take the DISC profile you should get in touch with the individuals at 5280 Life Science. We can work with your team on the exercises above, help you with a DISC survey for your team and even conduct the workshop to review the results.



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