Whether you work for a large company or a small business, cohesion plays a crucial role in productivity, effectiveness and creating a positive work climate. In order to create a cohesive workplace, use the Five Behaviors of a Cohesive Team, outlined in Patrick Lencioni’s work, to measure of how well your own team works together. Reflect on how well your team fulfills these five behaviors: trust, conflict, commitment, accountability and results.

The following checklist can be used to determine which behaviors you can check off your list, and what you can do to fix any areas that you are unable to check off.


  • Trust


Check: Is there a level of trust present in your team? Are you able to express ideas without fear of judgement? Are you able to admit fault or confidently take credit for your ideas? If you answered “yes” to these questions, chances are that your team has a foundation of trust which is also the foundation of cohesion.


Fix: If your answers to those questions were unfavorable, consider how your own actions impact your team’s trust. When your team is brainstorming, do you shut coworkers down or make a snarky comment? When a coworker admits that they have made a mistake, is your reaction to judge them harshly? If those behaviors sound familiar, you may be a roadblock in your team’s ability to work cohesively. To build trust, lead by example by encouraging open dialogues between coworkers- free of ridicule or judgement. Keep these interactions positive and reassure your coworkers that their insights and ideas are valued.


  • Conflict


Check: Despite its negative connotation, conflict between coworkers can be a sign that your team is actually working cohesively when the source of the conflict is centered around ideas for improvement. If the members of your team are able to respectfully disagree, challenge and question one another for the betterment of the task, you can check “conflict” off of your list!


Fix: Open up discussions that welcome all ideas and opinions, even if they are contrary to your own. Keep conversations and conflict respectful and productive by keeping a cool head and taking a break if the situation becomes too heated. Remember that despite differing opinions, you and your coworkers should all be trying to represent the company’s best interests; as a result, make the conscious decision to hear one another out and try to find a compromise in your conflicting views.


  • Commitment


Check: Do your coworkers demonstrate commitment to the team’s success and company goals regardless of their personal opinions? Do the members of your team consistently follow through with their commitments? In order to consider your team cohesive, you need to be able to rely on each other to participate and contribute even if there is a lack of consensus on the course of action.


Fix: Rather than taking the “because I said so” attitude, create opportunities for team members to voice their opinions and ideas. While this may welcome conflict, employees who feel that their ideas are heard are more likely to feel a sense of commitment to their team and the task at hand.


  • Accountability


Check: Are members of your team comfortable holding one another accountable for their commitments? Is your office a place where coworkers can rely on one another to stay accountable rather than management constantly having to step in?


Fix: Instead of complaining that your coworkers are not doing their job behind their back or to management, talk to them directly. Again, do this respectfully to avoid creating a hostile work environment. A casual conversation may be all that is needed to remind them of their commitments, or an opportunity to extend assistance to a struggling teammate.


  • Results


Check: Where is your team’s focus? Is it on personal agendas and goals, or are the team’s goals in the forefront of everyone’s minds? Are you seeing desired results?


Fix: Find ways to get employees excited about reaching goals. Implement incentives unique to your team and find ways to recognize team members who are meeting goals.


This list can be a useful tool for assessing the strength of your team’s cohesion and improve your ability to work together to create a more productive and efficient workplace.