Team Cohesion: Leadership Edition

“A coach is someone who can give correction without causing resentment.” John Wooden

Leaders and coaches play a critical role in the way cohesion is developed on a team. They are the ones who can increase one’s success and create an environment for them to grow.  Having this kind of an impact on the team means that leaders should understand and evaluate their behaviors and interactions with team members.

Think back to the leaders and coaches you’ve had throughout your career. Did they all have the same leadership style? Were some better than others? Different methods have been suggested for improving overall team functioning as well as relations between leaders and team members. Among these methods are Yukelson‘s suggestions aimed at improving relations among teams as a whole and for individuals.  Some suggestions are:


  • Know your team. Get to know your employees as unique individuals. Ask personal questions about their lives outside of the office. Genuinely getting to know more about your team will let them know you care about their well-being.
  • Develop Team Identity. Help your team develop pride in their group and a sense of team identity. Individuals want to feel proud when they come to work every day. Make sure that your behaviors and actions as a leader help them develop this pride.
  • Set Team Goals. Develop a comprehensive team goal setting program. Teams need something to work and strive for. Setting effective goals will bring motivation and something to work for as a group.
  • Create Individual Goals. While team goals are important for bringing up the overall cohesiveness of the group, each person must have individual goals, as well. Individual goals allow one to measure successes and keep track of their own progression.
  • Set Role Expectations. Individuals feel more motivated to do well when they know what their specific role is on the team. Having a defined role makes one more accountable for their progress and lets them know they are contributing to the team.
  • Conduct Team Meetings. Team meetings allow leaders and team members to come together to ensure everyone is on the same page. If there are any questions or concerns, meetings are the best place to address them. Setting aside time for individual meetings is also important as it allows individuals with any issues to express their feelings in a more private setting.

Leadership styles influence teams in many ways including cohesion levels, success, and satisfaction. Follow these tips and hopefully you will have a more successful team!

Keri TenBoer

Associate Director at Russell Tobin

Connect +