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Building and Leading Resilient Teams: Module 2


Module 2: Boost teamwork by developing cohesion among team members.

The best measure of a team is how well it performs under pressure. When the going gets tough, the tough get going… by working together as a team. This maxim holds true for front-line teams, executive teams, and all other teams in between, including yours. You can boost teamwork by developing the cohesion of your team. The result will be more supportive and dependable relationships. Developing cohesion enhances well-being, reduces stress, and enables your team’s creativity and collective decision-making. Cohesive teams in the workplace are better able to overcome adversity, and then adapt and grow together because of that adversity.


This module consists of two “at home” assignments (6 hours) that must be completed prior to the facilitated discussion (1-3 hours). Completing the preparatory assignments is essential for engaged participation in the facilitated discussion.

Assignment 1. Learn the following key terms and ideas. Knowing these key terms and ideas is essential to understanding the concepts that support each leader task in this module. (0.5 hours)

Key Terms and Ideas


Assignment 2. Reflect on your unique leader/follower experience with each of the leader tasks and concepts below. Consider ALL the reflection questions, prepare notes, and be ready to discuss during the facilitated discussion. The recommended reading is provided to help you gain a better understanding of the leader tasks and concepts. The reading will also prompt critical reflection on your leader/follower experience. (5.5 hours)

Note to Students and Instructors: The recommended reading for each leader task is updated routinely. Articles added in the last 30 days are marked (new). Instructors may assign additional reading or relevant videos at their discretion.

Leader Tasks and Concepts

1. Analyze team cohesion.

Cohesion is the extent to which a team will stick together and remain united, even in the face of adversity. Cohesive teams are characterized by collaboration between people that support and depend on each other. Developing cohesion boosts teamwork.

Cohesion is a dynamic construct. Social cohesion is the strength of relationships and sense of solidarity among team members. Task cohesion is how well a team works together to achieve common goals and objectives. Both social cohesion and task cohesion develop over time.

When teams are cohesive, people are more flexible, creative, and open to new ideas. Cohesive teams are better at solving problems and overcoming challenges. Developing cohesion is essential for building resilient teams.

Recommended Reading:

What will Make or Break your Next Role? Find out Why Teamwork Matters

What I Learned About Team Cohesion From Little League Baseball

Building a Cohesive Team: Challenges and Tips for Leaders

7 Work-From-Home Rituals for Virtual Teams

In-Depth: How Coherence And Cohesion Are Critical To Scrum

Why Understanding ‘Team Cohesion’ can Build Organisational Resilience?


2. Organize people to work in teams.

Leaders should assign tasks to teams instead of individuals whenever possible. Teams benefit from diverse experience and expertise. Sometimes, people self-organize informally into teams to get work done. Many organizations create and support project teams to get work done. Working in teams helps develop cohesion.

Working in teams creates the potential for shared leadership. Shared leadership is characterized by collaborative decision-making and collective responsibility for outcomes. Shared leadership can be especially effective during times of adversity.

Recommended Reading:

Teamwork

Collaboration is Key

Five Surprising Facts About Teams and Teamwork

Why Team Members Should Be Involved in Decision-Making

Tough Teams


3. Promote trust between team members.

Teams develop social trust and task trust between team members. Social trust is having faith that others on your team have good intentions and will not harm your interests. Task trust is being able to confidently rely on others to do their part in getting the job done. Promoting trust between team members helps develop cohesion.

Leaders can promote social trust by providing opportunities for people to get to know each other. Leaders can promote task trust between team members by recognizing people for their competence and contributions to the team. Leaders should be attentive to any loss of trust between team members.

Recommended Reading:

Build a Circle of Trust with Your Team

Trust

7 Misunderstood Truths About Workplace Trust

Building Trust in a Skeptical Era

Why the Key to Virtual Team Effectiveness Is Team Trust


4. Ensure mutual respect between team members.

Without mutual respect between team members, cohesion cannot develop. Respect is often gauged by the tone of a person’s voice and their body language. Courtesy and kindness are indicators of respect. Ensuring mutual respect between team members helps develop cohesion.

Leaders should be attentive to disrespectful treatment between team members. Sometimes, people will be reluctant to speak up for themselves. It is a leader’s responsibility to address disrespectful behavior in the workplace.

Recommended Reading:

Create a Respectful Work Environment

How to Create a Better Workplace

Incivility in the Workplace

A New Look at Workplace Diversity

5 Ways to Inspire Your Colleagues to Speak Up


5. Train the team.

Team training is an iterative process that occurs as teams work together over time. On-the-job team training is situated in real experience and should be continuous. Constructive feedback from leaders and team members is essential and should become habit. Regularly scheduled formal team training should augment on-the-job training. Training the team helps develop cohesion.

As teams successfully learn new knowledge and skills together, they develop social cohesion, task cohesion, and collective efficacy. Collective efficacy is the belief that a group can meet challenges and complete tasks together successfully. Teams that have collective efficacy are better prepared to overcome adversity together.

Recommended Reading:

The Three Tips for Effective Team Training

How to Train Teams

5 Benefits of Team Training in the Workplace


6. Manage expectations.

Plans often do not go as expected. Expectations are a strong belief that something will happen or be the case in the future. Being mentally prepared for the unexpected enables proactive coping. Coping is what a person does to minimize stress. Managing expectations helps the team maintain a sense of control in the face of adversity. Managing expectations helps develop cohesion.

Recommended Reading:

Managing Expectations is a Crucial Leadership Responsibility


7. Talk about setbacks.

Talking about setbacks is an opportunity for teams to learn from their mistakes. Conducting an after-action review (AAR), especially when things don’t go as planned, sets the stage for learning and growth. An after-action review (AAR) is a technique for improving execution by scrutinizing the outcomes of an action. Talking about setbacks helps develop cohesion.

Recommended Reading:

Talking about Setbacks is an Opportunity for Growth and Team Building

How To Empower And Develop Your Team Using A Project Retrospective


Facilitated discussion. Be prepared to discuss your experience with each of the leader tasks and concepts above. The facilitated discussion is the key to successful learning because it ensures you have a thorough understanding of applicable factual (what), conceptual (why), and procedural (how) knowledge relevant to each leader task.



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