How To Build A Cohesive And Productive Team

You probably know you need support, respect and focus on a common goal to build a happy and productive team.

However, there may be a few less obvious factors that you may not have considered.

You see, although I’ve been leading teams for many years, I’ve learned a lot about teamwork since meeting Bob. One of the things that has become most obvious to me is that most of us weren’t raised to function well on a team. We were taught to focus on “me”—to go out and get what I want. However, as you may have heard before, there is no “I” in team.

Therefore, if we want to create a truly cohesive, fully-functioning unit, we should learn a new way of operating teams.

Through education and commitment, we’ve built a superb team at PGI. Here are three things we are doing that you might find useful.

1. Focus on becoming a fully-functioning “I”

By that I mean, each person has to understand themselves and know how to get the spiritual, physical and intellectual sides of their personality in alignment.

When each member of the team understands who they are and that we are all connected, everyone works in harmony. Instead of competing with one another or wanting to get credit, team members genuinely support each other and remain focused on a common goal.

In our company, we accomplish this by having the entire team dive into personal and team development concepts regularly. We go over our studies together so that everyone begins to understand themselves and each other better. As a result, we naturally transition from wondering “what can I get?” to “what can we do?”

2. Develop vulnerability-based trust

Vulnerability-based trust is where the leader and everyone on the team feels comfortable acknowledging their mistakes, their weaknesses and their needs for help. They also acknowledge the strength of others when it is greater than their own.

Respect plays a big role in developing this kind of trust. It’s not just about respecting the words, actions and presence of others. You also have to respect the higher side—the spiritual side—of yourself and the other members of the team.

When you develop this kind of trust and respect, instead of criticizing each other or pointing out weaknesses, you focus on each person’s strengths and help them become the best person they can be.

3. Refuse to be limited by human-kind thinking

The truth is, we can be, do or have anything that we want in life. However, the group has to believe and trust that it’s true.

As the leader, I have to trust that when I put myself out there, I will have all the tools, resources, knowledge and ideas I need to be effective. And I have to demonstrate that trust to the team so that they will develop the trust to really go for things, too. When the team acts without limits, it will move to a new level of cooperation, synergy and productivity.

None of these things will happen by accident. However, if the leader and the team are willing—through study and discipline—to embrace and start acting on these new concepts, powerful shifts will begin to occur.

And here’s the best part…

As you’re moving toward this new vision, you and your team will discover, it’s not about what you do or what you get, it’s about who you become.

To more and better,

Sandy Gallagher

Article Credit: Sandy Gallagher, Proctor Gallagher Institute

For more information about this topic, contact Steve Schluentz: 

Steve Schluentz is a Dentist and Thinking into Results certified coach who’s passion is helping people get what they want in life.  Call (828) 490-7120; email:

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