Cohesion within a team is extremely important. This means that the team works together towards a common goal and support each other in that process as well as being socially supportive to one another. More cohesive teams tend to have significantly better performance in addition to reducing the number of dropouts. No matter how big a team is or what their goal is, the better they work together the more successful they will be. An important aspect of team cohesion is the leadership of the team. If the most powerful figure has too much or too little control, the tendency is for the team to fall apart. Even if a coach has a good coaching style, conflicts between individuals are inevitable. In some cases, a leader figure may need to intervene to help resolve the problem. Leaders are very important to team cohesion. A leader should do certain things in order to promote team unity. One of these things includes taking advantage of adversity and setting everyone up for success. If certain people are good at one task, and others complete different tasks more effectively, have them do what they are good at to improve productivity. Communication is also important. Talking about what the goal of the team is, how the team is going to achieve it, giving, and getting feedback is very important to working together and avoiding conflict.
If there is a conflict, it is of utmost importance to analyze the energy of the individuals involved and try to resolve the issue. The Harvard Business Review explains that if possible, it may be a good idea to have a joint meeting with them so that they may discuss the problem with a mediator, but this may be a bad idea if the people involved are unable to keep their tempers while discussing the problem. In this case, start with having meetings with each person separately in order to learn more about the situation in a friendlier and more comfortable environment. While in these meetings, it is important not to argue about the facts. Everyone has a different perception on reality and arguing about what actually happened does not typically result in a resolution. It is also important to keep power arguments out of the conversation. Power arguments are a type of threat that create an imbalance between the people involved. It makes the other people involved less likely to share information. It is also important to use empathy instead of sympathy. Using empathy includes saying things like “It must have been hard for you to go through that” instead of saying “I’m so sorry that happened to you”. This will help keep an unbiased position throughout the discussion.
The best thing to do is to discuss how to address the situation if it happens again in the future because arguing about what happened in the past will not fix the issue. If the individuals can not come to a resolution, the leader must become more authoritative and tell them the repercussions that they will experience if they continue to have problems.