Whether you are a member of a team or its leader, you will recognize instances in which the group needs help working together. Oftentimes, being in the same place at the same time is simply not enough. Team cohesion requires steady work toward a common goal from everyone involved, as well as the ability to solve problems along the way. Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to jump-start this mentality and create unity where it does not already exist.
Set a clear, common or goal or remind the team of the goals that have already been established.
Make sure that everyone involved has interest and equal opportunity in achieving the goal. To do this, avoid allocating more resources to some individuals than others, as this can create feelings of jealousy and contempt. To create cohesion, everyone will need to feel equally important.
Establish a teamwork mentality by giving recognition to the group rather than to one individual when a solution is presented. This holds the entire group accountable and reduces competition among members.
Prepare a conflict resolution plan by making a list of procedures that details when and how problems will be solved. For example, the plan might require that the group meet for 15 minutes every week for the specific purpose of solving group problems. The plan should call for the team to quickly work together to find a solution rather than placing blame. Conflict resolution is of extreme importance since disagreements are bound to arise when there are multiple viewpoints.
Implement team-building activities frequently, such as daily riddles that the group can solve, scavenger hunts or a developmental weekend retreat. These casual events help to reinforce the importance of bonding and togetherness.
Since 2006, Pilar Ethridge has had the pleasure of honing her writing skills as the assistant editor of the newsletter from a Washington, D.C. nonprofit organization. Her interests include children's media, film, American pop culture, crafts, and performing arts in general. Based in Southern California, Ethridge received a Bachelor of Arts degree in liberal studies from the University of California.