Is Your Team Cohesive?

Businesspeople Holding Jigsaw Puzzle I have talked before about how creating a cohesive team can help ensure everyone is making the right decisions for the right reasons and are doing so based on joint values. But there are times when that cohesiveness can waiver. There are a number of ways you can tell if your team is not cohesive. First, you have to listen to feedback from the larger team. It’s often people outside your direct team who will notice first if you’re going in different directions. Another clue is when all the team members look you in the eyes and say, ‘Yes, we agree; we got it’, but then they go off to execute poorly. The people who didn’t agree and didn’t say anything might even say something like ‘I told you so’.

I’m big on getting feedback through cross-functional team meetings. I would always have my team leaders put together a multifunctional team of maybe ten people to come and sit down with me when I was visiting various offices. Then, we’d have a straight-up conversation. You can get a lot of information that way through what is said and not said. I would take notes of every question asked and often realize how many things I didn’t know the answer to or should have been forthcoming with this information so the question did not have to be asked. I’d find myself thinking, ‘Wow, we’re not doing a good job here’, or ‘Why are they asking something like that?’

Lencioni’s team assessment tools can also be really useful to start off with. They might give you some surprising insights. Find assessments and other resources at http://www.shannonsusko.com/summary/