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The magnet that repels, tolerably

What You Need to Know About Team Cohesion & Collaboration, Episode 1

Teamwork is important; everyone knows that. And improving team cohesion is clearly a huge challenge for companies. On the other hand, it is interesting and instructive that although we are talking about a “universal” concept, it has a completely different meaning for different people, resulting in serious conflicts within a given team. It is important to know that the concept of team cohesion is truly universal in all cases, and this is typically an issue in which it is not the concept that needs to be tailored to the individual, but the individual to the concept. At least if we want to have a successful team at the end of the process. The essence of true team cohesion is to find the magnet that, even if it does not always attract, at least doesn’t repel too much.

Purpose, selfishness

Everyone needs a team; that’s not an issue. However, the reason one might find it useful may be completely different within the team. Several groupings categorise people in terms of team cohesion, but to understand the basic message, it is enough to use the simplest division: individual focus versus team focus. Even on this basis, the significant differences in the assessment of the team’s cooperation can be perfectly illustrated. It is very important during team formation that when we gather opinions about the current state, we consider from the very beginning who the information is coming from; otherwise, this very important work can be undermined very quickly and spectacularly. We also need to be aware that different fields, economic sectors, business periods, locations, and goals – an exhaustive list of the causes would be too long – require teams with very different levels of team cohesion. So let’s not think that a team can only work well if we see we have the level of cohesion we consider good as an individual. To illustrate the situation with just a simple example: the task is that a company that has been successful in the market for ten years wants to break into a new market with a new product and build a “team” for that. It is no coincidence that the wording in quotation marks, because for such a task, the appropriate level of cooperation of self-centred people with an individual focus may be most expedient in most cases. Of course, many people are surprised by this, because in such a critical situation, everyone should focus on one goal, and they are not mistaken in this statement. Only people who can concentrate very strongly on one goal and move mountains to achieve it are usually the more selfish type. Because part of purposefulness is to turn off all emotional pitfalls and really focus on the challenge. This is not a nice thing. It doesn’t look good even when described, as somehow we always think of an ideal solution. In this case, it would be ideal to be surrounded by colleagues with excellent goal orientation, who can move with great energy, but at the same time, are empathetic and lovable.

You don’t need a cliché

But this will not happen often. And it is unnecessary to say whether you are like that or that your company has serious goals in a new field. After all, if there really is an experience where a group of people fighting for each other rather than concentrating on themselves could break into a brand-new territory – even with a single product – then they could believe that more selfish characters could solve it much faster, more efficiently, and much more effectively. So there was definitely very serious potential in that particular product. Because that’s what we can’t examine on the go, as there really is a product that doesn’t really need to be sold, and thanks to market background knowledge, they just buy it one day. I’ve worked with several of these before; there are still several companies where I see one.