How to Make Your Team More Cohesive
To make your team more cohesive, first create and demonstrate Purpose with a capital “P.” Why are they there? Why do their efforts matter?
Capital “P” Purpose
- “We’re in the people business serving coffee, not the coffee business serving people.”
- “We don’t sell houses. We make dreams come true.”
- “We don’t litigate. We promote social justice.”
Small “p” purpose
Second, remember why people are disengaged, distracted and burdened with petty team conflict—they need to know they are contributing. We all have a human hunger to contribute, to know that we are making a difference. You could call this the purpose with a small “p.” For example:
- “Rob, I appreciate your attention to detail that helped make the joint venture a success.”
- “Judy, your presentation skills made the sale happen with our best client.”
- “Dan, your team leadership pulled us through the rough spots, thanks!”
Third, leaders should demonstrate a higher perspective. It is essential for day-to-day productivity and long-term momentum. You must lift your team out of petty pre-occupations, menial conflicts and interpersonal tensions. Your team will pick up on the fact that you are their impartial, inspirational anchor with a higher vision.
Accompanying the aforementioned emphasis on Purpose, the one thing that will boost team motivation, emotion and perceptions is when the team senses they are making daily progress in work worth doing.
It is a foundational human need to contribute and if you know how to create daily progress and minimize what detracts from daily progress, you have the key to team productivity, cohesiveness and happiness.
What makes for daily progress
- Clarity on the work that needs to be done—priorities and goals
- Respect team members and recognize individual (unique) contributions
- Encourage and support team members
What detracts from daily progress
- Negativity, conflict, tension
- Commanding and directing
Things to keep top of mind as you make your team more cohesive.
- Policies don’t make the climate better for daily progress, you do.
- Commanding and directing has been supplanted (in the 21st century) by the need for a more human approach—influence and persuade.
- Uncertainty is inevitable and it creates anxiety. Don’t add to it. Communicate often.
- Focus on what is possible, hope and inspiration rather than playing to people’s fears.
- Don’t use position power. It weakens you and your team.
A sense of purpose is the number one motivator for cohesion and effectiveness. People need to know why more than they need to know how. But it it takes more finesse today to make teams effective and cohesive. One thing is for sure. It is the one competitive advantage that is hard to duplicate.
© Brian Braudis 2019, All rights reserved
Tags: Purpose, Why are we here?