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Develop Cohesion Competency Domain


Domain Summary

Leaders develop cohesion by analyzing team cohesion, organizing people to work in teams, promoting trust between team members, ensuring mutual respect between team members, showing genuine concern for people, being there when the going gets tough, and talking about setbacks. Teamwork is a consequence of developing cohesion. Developing cohesion is essential for building resilient teams. The Develop Cohesion competency domain is assessed for RBLP. RBLP-C, and RBLP-T certification.



Develop Cohesion Articles

Professional reading about Developing Cohesion.


Develop Cohesion Leader Tasks:

Task 1: Analyze team cohesion.

  • Cohesion enables collective creativity and decision-making. In a cohesive group, shared leadership becomes possible.
  • Supportive, dependable relationships promote well-being. People in a cohesive group are happier because they feel valued by others.
  • Cohesion encourages employee engagement and increases job satisfaction.    
  • Social cohesion is about emotional bonding and a sense of belonging. Task cohesion is about working together effectively to meet collective goals.
  • In a cohesive group, each person’s capacity to overcome adversity is enhanced by working with other people. Cohesion reduces stress.
  • Teamwork is a consequence of developing cohesion. People that work in cohesive teams are more resilient.

Task 2: Organize people to work in teams.

  • There are limits to what any one person can accomplish alone. Leaders should set goals that are inherently interdependent to encourage teamwork.
  • Working in teams fosters cooperation and collaboration. Teams overcome challenges together.
  • Team members share their diverse experience and expertise to ensure that collective tasks are accomplished together.
  • Teams draw on multiple perspectives to solve problems. Innovation is usually the product of teamwork.
  • Leaders don’t just lead teams; they are part of the team.

Task 3: Promote trust between team members.

  • Leaders must stay keenly attuned to any loss of trust between team members. Quick action to resolve issues of lost trust are essential.
  • Social trust is having faith that others on your team have good intentions and will not harm your interests.
  • Task trust is the belief that others are competent and will help get the job done.
  • When team members trust each other, they are more likely to share creative ideas that lead to innovation. Trust is the foundation of psychological safety.

Task 4: Ensure mutual respect between team members.

  • Leaders should be on the lookout for disrespectful treatment between team members. Addressing instances of disrespectful treatment quickly is essential.
  • Leaders must understand that respect is always in the “eye of the beholder”. Team members may be hesitant to speak up about disrespectful treatment.  
  • People show respect when they recognize the inherent worth and dignity of others.
  • Open minds and a willingness to compromise are evidence of mutual respect in the workplace. People are being respectful when the show courtesy, kindness, and gratitude.

Task 5: Show genuine concern for people.

  • Leaders show genuine concern by getting to know their people both professionally and personally.
  • People will not give 100% to a leader that does not care about them. Superficial relationships that pay no attention to the “person” are not effective.  
  • Leaders show genuine concern for people by providing them with opportunities for personal and professional development.
  • Leaders can show genuine concern for people by helping them overcome personal and professional challenges.

Task 6: Be there when the going gets tough.

  • Being there when the going gets tough means showing up for the team when they need it the most. Being there does not mean micromanaging.
  • Leaders can be there physically to share in the work when demands are high. Just as importantly, leaders can be there to provide moral and emotional support when it’s needed most.
  • Being there when the going gets tough sustains intrinsic motivation and helps the team cope with anxiety and stress.
  • People need leaders that can “keep their cool” during stressful situations. Calm can be contagious.

Task 7: Talk about setbacks.

  • Sometimes referred to as an after-action review (AAR), talking about setbacks helps the team interpret the past and shape their expectations for the future.  
  • When things go wrong, team members need an outlet to vent their stress. Talking about setbacks can provide closure.
  • Talking about setbacks allows people to find benefits and meaning in adversity.
  • Talking about setbacks with the team is an opportunity for learning that can prevent the same mistakes from happening again.

Supporting Knowledge:

Know the relationship between cohesion and shared leadership.

Know the relationship between cohesion and teamwork.

Know the relationship between social cohesion and task cohesion.

Know why encouraging people to work in teams develops cohesion and builds collective resilience.

Know how to encourage people to work in teams.

Know why promoting trust between team members develops cohesion and builds collective resilience.

Know how to promote trust between team members.

Know why ensuring mutual respect between team members develops cohesion and builds collective resilience.

Know how to ensure mutual respect between team members.

Know why showing genuine concern for people develops cohesion and builds collective resilience.

Know how to show genuine concern for people.

Know why being there when the going gets tough develops cohesion and builds collective resilience.

Know how to be there when the going gets tough.

Know why talking about setbacks develops cohesion and builds collective resilience.

Know how to talk about setbacks.

Know why developing cohesion builds resilience.

Know how to develop cohesion.

Updated 8/14/2020