Five Behaviors of a Cohesive Team Model

What if you could measure whether your team:

  • Trusts each other?
  • Engages in healthy conflict to solve problems and implement new ideas?
  • Commits to their decisions?
  • Holds team members accountable?
  • Focuses on achieving results?

The Five Dysfunctions of a Team model is a proven model that has been around for many years. The Five Behaviors of a Cohesive Team uses this model to get beyond the dysfunctions of a typical team. The results are amazing!

Five Behaviors of a Cohesive Team Model Components


Five Behaviors of a Cohesive Team Model

When team members are genuinely transparent and honest with each other, they are able to build vulnerability-based trust. It’s really easy to say you trust someone but to build a foundation of trust, team members must be transparent and completely honest with one another. This requires them to be vulnerable. This requires them to admit mistakes and to ask for help when needed.

Vulnerability-based trust is the foundation of a cohesive team.

When vulnerability-based trust is achieved, team members are finally able to engage in an unfiltered, constructive debate of ideas. It is step one of becoming a cohesive team.


Healthy conflict sets up the commitment component in the Five Behaviors of a Cohesive Team program. Team members share their ideas, their thoughts and their ideas. Often alternative ideas or opinions arise and conflict enters into the discussion. Conflict is 100% normal and even healthy, if handled correctly. Team leaders often steer clear from any type of conflict in their meetings. Five Behaviors of a Cohesive Team helps them understand how to tackle conflict head on. It teaches teams that healthy conflict is much better than avoidance practices.

When team members understand that conflict is simply part of the process, they approach it with a more positive attitude. When they trust their team members and understand that conflict is not personal, your team members will be more likely to share ideas or opinions. The Five Behaviors of a Cohesive Team will teach your team how to engage in an unfiltered constructive debate of ideas.


Once a team establishes vulnerability-based trust and everyone has been heard, it’s time to make decisions. Solid decisions are made only after the constructive debate of ideas has occurred. When following the Five Behaviors of a Cohesive Team model, you will find team members will be completely committed to the plan of action regardless if they fully agree. It’s important to understand that commitment and consensus are two very different things.

When all of your team members are committed to a clear plan of action, they will be more willing to hold each other accountable. This brings us to the next component of the model.


The Five Behaviors of a Cohesive Team program teaches teams to embrace accountability. Team members may be conflicted between their own goals and their team’s goals, but if they have trust in each other, if they engage in healthy conflict, if they commit to the team’s action plan, and if they’re willing and able to hold each other accountable, they will be able to focus on the collective results of the group. They will be able to let personal goals go and focus their energy on the team.


For a team to excel, all members must be willing to put the team’s goals ahead of their individual goals. We’re asking people to put aside their ego, career development, recognition in favor of the team’s goals. If the team can focus on collective results, the individual results will follow.

Characteristics of Teams Focused on Collective Results:

  • They celebrate success.
  • Team members take personal responsibility to fix problems.
  • They do not get sidetracked by distractions.
  • They do not exhibit individualistic behaviors.
  • Team members point out each other’s contributions.
  • Team members are willing to sacrifice for the team.
“A team ensures that its attention is focused on results by making results clear, and rewarding only those behaviors and actions that contribute to those results. A functional team must make the collective results of the group more important to each individual than individual members’ goals.”
- Patrick Lencioni, Author Five Dysfunctions of a Team, on Results