Introduction

Effective teamwork is the backbone of any successful organization. And team dynamics, in particular, play a pivotal role in determining whether a group of individuals will come together as a high-performing team or remain a collection of individuals. Patrick Lencioni, a renowned expert in the field of organizational health, has provided invaluable insights into the five key behaviors that can make or break a team’s success. In collaboration with Everything DiSC by the Wiley group, Lencioni has developed a powerful training program known as “The Five Behaviors of a Cohesive Team.” This program has transformed team dynamics in countless organizations by focusing on trust, conflict, commitment, accountability, and results. Let’s look at how these behaviors affect team dynamics and how the 5 Behaviors training can enhance team performance. 

Behavior #1: Trust

“Trust is the foundation of real teamwork.” – Patrick Lencioni

Trust is the bedrock upon which all other aspects of effective teamwork are built. In his book, The Five Dysfunctions of a Team, Lencioni emphasizes the critical role trust plays in establishing a cohesive team. When team members trust one another, they are more likely to open up, share their ideas, and admit their mistakes without fear of judgment.The 5 Behaviors training begins by encouraging teams to build trust through open and honest communication, by showing vulnerability, and a willingness to support one another. As Lencioni likes to say, “This isn’t touchy-feely stuff.” Instead, it’s about the ability to be your authentic self at work, flaws and all. When teammates can come together and share their ups, downs, wins and failures, cohesion can begin to build and this is the foundation on which all other aspects of teamwork can flourish. In fact, without trust, the other behaviors become impossible for the team to master leading to decreased productivity and morale. 

Behavior #2: Conflict

“Teams that fear conflict end up being places where important issues go undiscussed.” – Patrick Lencioni

For most people, the word ‘conflict’ brings to mind red-faced shouting, tears, avoidance and possibly even physical aggression. In general, most people view conflict with trepidation. But contrary to what many believe, conflict is not inherently negative. It is possible to have healthy and constructive conflict where team members engage in constructive debates and challenge each other’s ideas, to empower better decision-making and innovation. 

The Five Behaviors of a Cohesive Team™ training encourages teams to embrace the idea of productive conflict and view it as an opportunity for growth and for getting to the truth of a matter. Teams that encourage and engage in behaviors like open debates and discussions are more likely to arrive at well-thought-out decisions and avoid groupthink. Of course, getting to productive conflict takes a mindset shift and practice, but the outcome is well worth the time and effort invested.

Behavior #3: Commitment

“When teams make decisions, they must commit to the chosen course of action, even if they initially disagreed.” – Patrick Lencioni

When team members have built trust with one another and can engage in productive conflict, they are better equipped to make and commit to decisions. Commitment is about consensus ensuring that everyone is on the same page and willing to move forward together. This is even if there are team members who don’t fully agree with the decision made which makes it one of the most important aspects of commitment on a team. It’s the idea of being able to weigh in creates buy-in. People want to be heard, and oftentimes, that is enough.

A study by the Project Management Institute (PMI) found that organizations with high levels of commitment to decisions and plans are twice as likely to meet their project goals and business intent. The 5 Behaviors training program emphasizes the importance of commitment by teaching teams how to make clear decisions and hold themselves accountable for following through on those decisions.

Behavior #4: Accountability

“Teams that trust one another and commit to decisions hold one another accountable for their behaviors and performance.” – Patrick Lencioni

Accountability is the glue that holds the other behaviors together. Teams that are committed to their decisions must also hold each other accountable for achieving the desired results. Without accountability, commitment becomes meaningless, and trust erodes.

Conversely, organizations with high accountability have higher levels of employee engagement, and are more likely to achieve their performance objectives. The 5 Behaviors training program encourages teams to develop a culture of accountability by setting clear expectations, tracking progress, and providing regular feedback. This fosters an environment in which team members feel responsible for their actions AND their impact on the team’s success.

Behavior #5: Results

“Great teams achieve results that matter. It’s the ultimate measure of a cohesive team.” – Patrick Lencioni

The most important goal of any team is to achieve meaningful results. This is why The 5 Behaviors model emphasizes that teams should focus on collective results rather than individual achievements. There is no ‘I’ in ‘team’, after all. So, when trust, conflict, commitment, and accountability are in place, teams are better positioned to deliver exceptional results. Studies show that highly effective teams are 1.9 times more likely to achieve above-median financial performance. They also contribute significantly to an organization’s success.

Conclusion

“The best teams embrace and leverage the inevitable functional and dysfunctional aspects of the human behavior of its members.” Patrick Lencioni

The Five Behaviors of a Cohesive Team™ training, a joint venture for Patrick Lencioni, and Everything DiSC by the Wiley Group, has been a game-changer for organizations looking to improve team dynamics and performance. By focusing on trust, conflict, commitment, accountability, and results, the program equips teams with the tools they need to work together effectively and achieve their goals.

Brilliant People™ is a Wiley partner and offers The 5 Behaviors team training as well as a the personal development training for individuals in an organization who want to become better team players. Get in touch today to see how The Five Behaviors of a Cohesive Team™ can improve your team dynamics!

The culture (r)evolution starts with you!

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