The 5 Behaviors of a Cohesive Team

By Kellie Zimmet,

Teamwork makes the dreamwork!

When you have a high functioning team, life is better, work gets done, success is achieved and- not to be dismissed- work can be more fun. Patrick Lencioni’s seminal work on teamwork has helped thousands of teams achieve this reality.

Based on the bestselling book The Five Dysfunctions of a Team by Patrick Lencioni, The Five Behaviors of a Cohesive Team is a model and development program that guides intact teams through a journey to improve in five areas that are key to productive team dynamics: Trust, Conflict, Commitment, Accountability and Results.

Trust is the foundational element for all team interactions and the one you should be most focused on to start.

As a Certified 5 Behaviors Facilitator, I have had the privilege of helping groups build cohesion with these behaviors and improve performance. You can read a deeper dive into the 5 Behaviors here and watch this short video of Patrick describing them.

In this article, I would like to provide you with a tool to help you build the first level of Trust with your team. From Patrick, “When team members are genuinely transparent and honest with one another, they are able to build vulnerability-based trust.” Here are many ways to go about this, but one of my favorite examples is just opening up about where we grew up.  The exercise is kept open ended, so that people can choose to stay as surface level or go as deep as they are comfortable with.  As a sample, I facilitated this activity with the Care2Act group:

·       Break into groups of 3-4 people. The smaller group size allows for sharing more comfortably, so this can be done with more in a group if the team knows each other as in the typical work setting.

·       Each member is asked to answer the following three questions

o   Where did you grow up?

o   How many siblings did you have and where do you fall in the sibling order?

o   What was an important or unique challenge of your childhood? How did that impact your professional life?

o   Have each group report back with individuals sharing the stories that they just heard from their team mates.

Sometimes, some deep, emotional truths come out of this to help us understand where someone has journeyed. This sort of truth and vulnerability is the foundational element of Trust. Building trust in activities unrelated to the direct work you do provides a lower risk opportunity to being vulnerable. This can then bridge the gap of building Trust on work assignments.

There is so much more to the 5 Behaviors of a Cohesive Team Workshops as this is just one sample of the activities that we do to help start conversations toward building higher performing teams.  

Kellie Zimmet

Cell 480-272-9999