Tips on How to Build Cohesive Teams
Whether sports or business, cohesion is an important part of any successful team. High-cohesive groups have qualities that help them to unite in pursuit of a common ambition – they communicate better, have a higher level of participation, perform more efficiently, and have more confidence in their organization than less cohesive groups. Whether it’s a victory on the pitch or delivering a pitch, scoring or scoring a goal, a team capable team will have an edge.
The cohesion is so crucial to success that in my book, Edge: Leadership Secrets from Football, I’ve dedicated a whole chapter to Top Thinkers. I have found that any operation that relies on the cooperation of all parties involved has the responsibility of the team leader who is responsible for building the cohesion necessary to achieve results. In football, it is up to the head coach or manager to develop this cohesion between all the players in the team: the players, but in some cases the backroom staff, the team owner, sponsors and even the fans.
Here are some tips from the football world that companies can use to achieve greater cohesion in their team pursuit.
Do you have a social purpose.
In the 2017/18 season, the Danish club FC Nordsjélland’s players had the youngest average age in 31 leagues in Europe, but the team managed to reach third place in the top division of their country. The players were drawn from two training academies, one in Ghana and one in Denmark, a novel agreement that began in 2016 when FC Nordsjélland was bought by a group led by Tom Vernon who in 1999 won the African football academy Right to Dream in Ghana had founded.
Vernon asks the academies to wonder what kind of person they want to develop. “We have to give our kids the best chance of finding a purpose beyond football,” he told the podcast This Football Life. “If they act that way, it will improve the level of performance and make them happy too.” The FC Nordsjélland is similar. It was one of the first clubs in the world to appoint a head of character development.
In both academies, players work on age-appropriate give-back projects. For example, a group of Danish 14-year-olds raised money to help a homeless person they saw every day at the local bus station. Right to Dream graduate David Accam, who plays for the Major League Soccer Team Philadelphia Union, helped finance an expansion of the Academy in Ghana. another player contributed to the reconstruction of the mosque in his hometown. This common sense of purpose creates cohesion, even among young players.
Working for a bigger cause inspires and unites a group – and with something more meaningful than just the score line to play for, it’s possible for a team to achieve a higher level of performance. Businesses do not differ: Those who have a social purpose report improved relationships with customers and better rates of talent retention. In this sense, the purpose can provide a competitive advantage.
Invest in the person
The Swedish club Östersunds FK played in a fourth league, as Graham Potter 2011, the coaching team took over. When he retired in June 2018, the team was in Sweden’s top division and had won the Swedish Cup. This transformation came about because Potter gave the club an identity and made it a destination for players who wanted to improve. He rejected a guilty culture of focusing on performance rather than results. And he built cohesion by creating shared experiences outside of football and encouraging all employees to leave their comfort zones. Together they organized an art exhibition, sang at a concert, learned ballet and danced Swan Lake in front of a crowded theater audience and joined the same book club.
“By allowing players to venture into situations they do not know, they grow as individuals, giving them more courage on the pitch,” said Östersund chairman Daniel Kindberg. This way of thinking spreads beyond Sweden. Potter is the recent head coach of the Welsh team Swansea City. And England’s football coach Gareth Southgate took his players on a military training expedition to build character and cohesion ahead of the 2018 FIFA World Cup, where the team reached the semi-finals.
Promoting the personal development of employees creates loyalty and commitment and, if done right, creates a self-sustaining system in which people are supported from the inside out. Warren Buffett said, “Invest in yourself. No one can take you what you have in yourself, and everyone has potential that they have not used yet.” If companies can help with this investment, it will create added value for both the organization and its employees.
Bust the myth of portable talent.
New is not always better. Each team consists of a relationship system. the more successful teams have better co-ordinated relationships, and these relationships lead to more cohesion. This is one of the reasons why Little Island (330,000 inhabitants) qualified for the last two major international football tournaments, the European Championship 2016 and the 2018 World Cup. It also helps explain the recent success of English Premier League team Tottenham Hotspur, whose net spend has been a fraction of its rivals in the last four years: $ 68 million ($ 50 million) compared to Manchester City’s 672 million DOLLARS (496 million dollars) and Manchester United’s 565 million dollars (417 million US dollars). Instead of spending money on new players who may not train, Spurs will improve those who already have them.
Ben Darwin believes that team performance is directly related to the cohesion of a well-focused team. Darwin is the founder of Gain Line Analytics, a sports and business consulting firm, and he told me that each employee’s performance is a product of the knowledge and understanding that he has of his fellow human beings. He says it takes up to three years for a new employee or player to achieve peak performance. The lesson: Understand your talent and promote it.
Connect emotionally and build trust.
It is the task of Thomas Tuchel, coach of the best French national football team, Paris Saint-Germain, to motivate the most expensive forward line in the world (both in terms of costs and wages): Brazil’s Neymar, Uruguay’s Edinson Cavani and France’s young superstar Kylian Mbappe. Tuchel uses what he calls an ABC system to understand his players and try to make an emotional connection to them.
A stands for aggressive and represents the player who wants to be the star (Neymar); B is for the bond, the player who works for the well-being of the team (Cavani); and C is for the curious, the player on a trip (Mbappé). Tuchel told me that he uses this classification to get in touch with each of the players and push the right buttons to “get the enthusiastic 12-year-old who exists in everyone”.
At the Grasshoppers Club Zurich, Timo Jankowski, head of coaching, told me how he developed an open communication line with sports director Mathias Walther and all the coaches in the team. His approach fosters a high-trust environment that allows for an honest exchange of ideas and ideas, flattening the hierarchy so that the best ideas can come from everyone. The club has won more titles in the Swiss league than any other team and is one of the most prolific producers of young football talent in the country.
Research supports the team’s approach – people work better and are more positive in environments where trust is high. This improves performance and talent retention. Confidence within an organization also improves the bottom line.
All the clubs and coaches highlighted in this article have found their own way to develop cohesion and help their teams win. Their approach may be different, but as these teams demonstrate, whether it’s managing star performers, doing their very best within a team, or encouraging everyone to achieve their highest individual abilities, cohesion is the binding ingredient when you To retain talents, improve relationships and increase value.