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Team Effectiveness

Distinctions Between an Effective Team and a Highly Cohesive Team

Distinctions Between an Effective Team and a Highly Cohesive Team

From Efficiency to Unity

Traditional teams achieve goals, produce results, and propel organizations forward. Building a strong team requires effort and an understanding of the fundamental needs of a team. The Five Behaviors® offers teams the essential foundations of a healthy and efficient team, everything from trust to accountability to achieving results.

The Origins of a ‘Team’

In the early 20th century, the concept of teams began to develop as large corporations began to take shape and hire vast amounts of people. This period marked a significant transformation in how work was organized and managed, setting the foundation for modern teamwork.

At its simplest, a team is a select group of people with complementary skills, committed to a common purpose, with a set of performance goals and approaches. Teams can be found in various settings, from corporate offices to sports fields, and their success often relies on collaboration, communication, and mutual trust.

Teams provide a structure for individuals to collaborate and leverage each other's strengths, fostering innovation and problem-solving. Without teams, organizations would struggle in the form of poorly distributed workloads, insufficient communication, and a lack of diverse perspectives, inherently limiting progress.

What is an Effective Team?

An effective team increases the productivity, satisfaction, and growth of each of its team members, the team itself, and the rest of the organization. It comprises individuals who are competent in their roles, understand the group's objectives, and work well together to deliver results. Some key characteristics of an effective team include clear communication, shared accountability, respect for individual opinions and diversity, decision-making based on mutual consensus, and adaptability to change. 

However, while these qualities are crucial for success, there is another element that can take a team from good to great: cohesiveness.

What is a Highly Cohesive Team?

A highly cohesive team goes above and beyond, not only meeting performance standards but differentiating itself with strong interpersonal relationships among its members. A cohesive team generates trust and confidence and an environment that encourages team performance, excelling in the following behaviors:

  • Trusting One Another: When team members are genuinely transparent and honest with each other, they are able to build vulnerability-based trust.
  • Engaging in Conflict Around Ideas: When there is trust, team members are able to engage in unfiltered, constructive debate of ideas.
  • Committing to Decisions: When team members are able to offer opinions and debate ideas, they will be more likely to commit to decisions.
  • Holding One Another Accountable: When everyone is committed to a clear plan of action, they will be more willing to hold one another accountable.
  • Focusing on Achieving Collective Results: The ultimate goal of building greater trust, conflict, commitment, and accountability is one thing—achieving greater results as a team.

These qualities of a cohesive team are supported by The Five Behaviors® programs, inspired by Patrick Lencioni's bestselling book "The Five Dysfunctions of a Team.” Without trust, conflict, commitment, accountability, and results, often a team can be fragmented, resulting in interpersonal conflicts and a general lack of healthy collaboration.

Investing in a Highly Cohesive Team

Understanding the distinctions between an effective team and a highly cohesive team is crucial. By fostering trust, commitment, and collaboration, leaders can create an environment where teams not only meet performance standards but also thrive. Prioritizing cohesion within teams can lead to enhanced collaboration, increased engagement, and a positive organizational culture that drives long-term success.

Building a highly cohesive team is challenging, but not impossible. The Five Behaviors® presents an essential framework for understanding team dynamics and fostering a culture of successful collaboration. Whether you belong to an established team facing hurdles in collaboration or are part of an organization striving to build cohesive teams from the ground up, The Five Behaviors® equips you with the tools and insights required to transform group efforts into remarkable achievements.


When teams work well together, it is transformational. The Five Behaviors of a Cohesive Team is a proven resource that introduces key concepts of teaming and facilitates a mechanism for sustained cohesiveness. Follow the link below to register for our upcoming webinar and explore how The Five Behaviors® can positively impact your team:

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Kara Janssen

Kara Janssen creates engaging content that connects our clients to the FlashPoint brand and mission, helping them grow as leaders.