13.5 Developing Your Team Skills
- Identify guidelines for developing cohesion in your team.
Steps to Creating and Maintaining a Cohesive Team
There are several steps you can take as a manager to help build a cohesive team. For example, you can work to:
- Align the group with the greater organization. Establish common objectives in which members can get involved.
- Let members have choices in setting their own goals. Include them in decision making at the organizational level.
- Define clear roles. Demonstrate how each person’s contribution furthers the group goal—everyone is responsible for a special piece of the puzzle.
- Situate group members in proximity to one another. This builds familiarity.
- Give frequent praise, both to individuals and to the group, and encourage them to praise each other. This builds individual self-confidence, reaffirms positive behavior, and creates an overall positive atmosphere.
- Treat all members with dignity and respect. This demonstrates that there are no favorites and everyone is valued.
- Celebrate differences. This highlights each individual’s contribution while also making diversity a norm.
- Establish common rituals. Thursday morning coffee, monthly potlucks—these reaffirm group identity and create shared experiences.
There are many things you can do to help build a cohesive team. One key thing to remember is that too much cohesion without strong performance norms can be a problem. Many of the ways to build cohesive groups are also fun, such as celebrating successes and creating rituals.
- Think of the most cohesive group you have ever been in. What factors made the group so close?
- What are some challenges you see to creating a cohesive group?
- How does team size affect cohesion?