In the dynamic landscape of team management and organizational development, Patrick Lencioni’s “5 Behaviours of a Cohesive Team” stands as a beacon for building strong, effective, and harmonious teams. This model, derived from Lencioni’s acclaimed book “The Five Dysfunctions of a Team,” outlines a step-by-step approach to team building that has revolutionized how organizations approach teamwork. In this blog post, we’ll delve into the essence of these five behaviours and how they can transform the way teams operate.

Building Trust: The Key to Team Success

“Trust is the glue of life,” Stephen Covey once said. In teams, this glue is vulnerability-based trust. It’s not just about being reliable or competent; it’s about creating a space where team members can openly admit mistakes and seek help. This kind of trust fosters transparent communication and sets the stage for true collaboration.

Teams can only thrive when members willingly show vulnerability. They must believe in their peers’ good intentions and feel safe from judgment. How do teams build this trust? Tools like the DiSC behaviour assessment offer deep insights into personal and team dynamics. They help team members understand each other better, paving the way for transparency about personal limitations.

Engaging in Healthy Conflict: A Catalyst for Innovation

Once trust anchors a team, healthy conflict becomes possible. This isn’t about personal attacks; it’s about passionately debating ideas. Such conflict encourages members to voice diverse opinions and disagree constructively, leading to better decisions and innovation.

Avoiding conflict at work might seem natural, but it means missing out on debates crucial for team growth. When teams base their interactions on vulnerability-based trust, conflict becomes a quest for the best answers. Engaging in such productive debates can quickly solve real problems and enhance team performance.

Commitment: Ensuring Clarity and Buy-In

The third behaviour, commitment, revolves around clarity and buy-in. It’s not merely agreeing with decisions; it’s about wholehearted commitment, even when initial opinions differ. This approach moves teams forward without ambiguity, ensuring unity.

In the Five Behaviours model, commitment means moving forward with unanimous support, even from those initially opposed. Great teams understand the importance of commitment, even in uncertainty. Recognizing different behavioural styles helps ensure everyone’s full commitment. Some decide quickly, others need consensus, and some require objective information before committing.

Accountability Among Peers: Fostering Team Standards

Accountability, the fourth behaviour, is crucial for maintaining team standards. In cohesive teams, members hold each other accountable, not just relying on the leader. This peer-to-peer accountability involves respectful and consistent efforts to meet collective goals.

People often shy away from the discomfort of calling out peers. However, effective teams embrace this challenge. Peer pressure, in this context, is beneficial. It builds trust and respect, motivating members to fulfil their responsibilities. The key lies in understanding how different team members prefer to receive feedback, ensuring accountability goes beyond mere expectations.

Focusing on Achieving Collective Results: The Ultimate Team Goal

The final behaviour is focusing on collective results, prioritizing team success over individual goals. Cohesive teams are driven by shared objectives, making this the ultimate success metric.

The goal of fostering trust, conflict, commitment, and accountability is to achieve results. However, teams often get sidetracked by status or individual goals. A focus on team status can overshadow actual results, while individual goals might conflict with team objectives. Successful teams ensure that every member, regardless of their role, contributes to achieving shared goals.

Practical Applications in the Workplace

Building a Cohesive Team

Implementing Lencioni’s 5 Behaviors in the workplace can lead to profound changes. Teams become more open, more willing to confront and resolve issues, and more effective in achieving their objectives. Leaders can use this framework to diagnose team challenges and develop strategies to enhance team performance.

Leadership Development

For leaders, understanding and applying these behaviours is crucial for team development. It helps in creating an environment where trust, healthy conflict, commitment, accountability, and a focus on results are the norms.

Personal Growth

On an individual level, understanding these behaviours can lead to personal growth. Team members learn the importance of vulnerability, the value of diverse perspectives, and the significance of putting team goals above personal interests.


Patrick Lencioni’s 5 Behaviours of a Cohesive Team provides a clear and effective roadmap for building strong, functional, and successful teams. By fostering trust, engaging in healthy conflict, committing to decisions, holding each other accountable, and focusing on collective results, teams can achieve unprecedented levels of performance and satisfaction. Whether you’re a team leader, a team member, or an HR professional, embracing these behaviours can lead to a more cohesive, productive, and fulfilling team experience.

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