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Answers or tips for facilitators

Five Behaviors of a Cohesive Team assessment1. Do we have time to run this program?

You’re right to be conscious of the amount of time it takes to run a team through the complete Five Behaviors of a Cohesive Team training. Some teams might schedule sessions to run over a year. Some will finish in a few weeks.  There are three-day and one-day facilitation plans in The Five Behaviors of a Cohesive Team Facilitation Kit, but completing a program to effectively build a better team won't be accomplished without time and significant effort by participants. Making time for reflection is an investment that will pay off in the long term and increase the strength of your team. In the short term, just running through the Trust section often pays off in terms of engagement and productivity.

Make sure you schedule enough time to get through all modules without rushing the team. The time spent creating a cohesive team means less time spent in ineffective activities and behaviors. Remember, the last step of the training is Results. And isn’t that what the team was created to deliver?

Some training consultants want to capitalize on enthusiasm for the program and schedule discussion of all behavioral modules within a few days or weeks. If there is a signifiicant  delay in getting the team together, you'll want to build in time for reviewing the previous module(s) before beginning a new one.

Possible trainings:  3 full days, 1 full day and 4 half-days, 7 meetings (introductory half-day, then shorter ones) 

Shorter training times are possible. However, having gone through this program ourselves, we recommend taking advantage of the complete program and fully investing in your team and Five Behaviors.

Five Dysfunctions of a Team 2. Should all team members read The Five Dysfunctions of a Team before taking this assessment?

That is not necessary, but you might want to recommend it. The book is highly respected and easy to read. We do recommend that facilitators read the book. As an introduction to the concepts covered, you might want to share this video of author Patrick Lencioni speaking, or these articles of his: The Trouble with Teamwork or Conquer Team Dysfunction.

 3. Can I act as facilitator for my own team?

We do not recommend this. Bringing in someone from outside your group will make it much easier for you to participate as a member of your team. The discussions will be much richer with a dispassionate party to facilitate them.

 4. I'm an experienced trainer, so will I be able to easily use this assessment with our teams at my organization?

You might find that you'll need to be more comfortable with emotion, vulnerability, and conflict in your teams than you'd normally experience with training groups. You might want to set a few ground rules and think of yourself as a facilitator rather than a trainer. The assessment provides numerous questions for the teams to discuss and lots of information to digest and ponder. You'll want to review all of those in preparation for a session.

You might find that your biggest challenge is keeping everyone to a time schedule so you can cover every behavior. Be flexible with your timing. Don’t rush through valuable conversations. Allow (or create) opportunities for follow-up. If you're more comfortable delivering an instruction-based, instructor-led training, you might want to hire a facilitator instead of running sessions yourself.

Team leaders should not act as the facilitator for this training. They need to be part of the team, experiencing the facilitation and training.

 5. Do I need to cover all five behaviors?

5 Behaviors of a Cohesive Team modelWe recommend against skipping over any of the five behaviors. They are each important and build upon each other. In fact, we recommend spending more time on Trust than on the other behaviors. Because each behavior builds on the previous one, and incorporates it, we believe they should not be addressed in isolation of one another. However, if you're facing major time constraints, spend your time on Trust and Conflict. (After the team experiences the impact of these modules, you might get approval and resources to complete the program.)

 6. How does the team I'm working with compare to other teams?

The Five Behaviors of a Cohesive Team Annotated Report will provide you with the average score for each assessment response. These averages are currently based on the responses from more than 5,000 teams. This information is not presented on the profiles available to each team member.

 PDF file:  Five Behaviors of a Cohesive Team Annotated Team Report

 7. Do names appear in the reports?

Full names do not appear anywhere in the reports; individual responses are shown but not identified by respondent. Team members will learn the DiSC® styles of each of their colleagues.

 8. What if I'm working with a newly formed team?

We recommend using Everything DiSC Workplace  along with the Group Culture  with the team before beginning a Five Behaviors program. Reviewing these will help team members quickly learn how to work with each other and provide them with a way to talk through conflicts and form their own group culture. After they've worked together a few months, introduce the Five Behaviors of a Cohesive Team  to build upon what they learned through Everything DiSC training and to work on any problematic issues that have arisen, or are about to arise, on the team.

 9. How many members need to complete The Five Behaviors of a Cohesive Team assessment before a report can be created?

A minimum of three participants is needed before you can generate this assessment. We do not suggest running a report until all team members have completed the assessment.

10. Is there a difference between small and large teams?

Larger teams can be harder to schedule for workshops and require more management when facilitating a discussion. 

From The Five Behaviors Research Report:  “In all cases where there was a statistically significant difference, the larger teams had a lower average than the smaller teams.” For example, members of larger teams seem to have a harder time being unguarded, apologizing, asking for input, and getting to know one another on a personal level.

Large teams also find it less acceptable to go beyond the meeting end time to resolve an issue. “Small teams tend to exclude other team members from difficult conversations more often than those on larger teams.” They are also more accepting of members showing outward emotion. The research report provides much more detail, starting on page 16.

PDF file: The Five Behaviors Research Report

11. Is there a follow-up report to track how our team has progressed?

Yes. The Five Behaviors of a Cohesive Team™ Progress Report is designed especially to show a team how its behaviors have changed as compared to the last time the team was assessed. In addition to showing the improvements on the team, the report outlines challenges that may be hindering further development. We recommend using The Progress Report 6–12 months after taking The Five Behaviors assessment.

You'll find this report as an option in EPIC, your administrative tool. The report is free to run for the existing team. If you have any questions about this report, please contact us.

PDF file:  Progress Report for Five Behaviors of a Cohesive Team sample

12. What does DiSC bring to the five dysfunctions of a team model?

Everything DiSC Conflict MapTeam members need to have a meaningful understanding of themselves and their peers. DiSC provides this as well as a non-judgmental way to talk about behaviors. The DiSC conflict map is a useful tool to use when engaging in conflict in a productive way.

13. What does the five dysfunctions of a team model bring to DiSC?

DiSC is a helpful tool for self-understanding and a model for discussing conflict, motivation, and differences. The five dysfunctions model provides clear and compelling reasons to use that model to build a more cohesive team. It also extends learning into real-life situations faced by every team.

14. Why isn’t our team showing better ratings? We’re a good team already.

The bar for this assessment is set high, so even if most team members give a lot of “sometimes” responses you might see a lower score than expected. It’s not easy to be a cohesive team. The specific scores are much less important than how your team responds to its relative strengths and weaknesses.

15. How should I prepare to facilitate this training?

Before your first workshop:

  • Review the sample annotated report, the facilitation kit, and the information available on this site.
  • Meet with the team leader in advance. Learn a bit about the history of the team and what challenges they face.
  • Share and walk through a sample profile with the leader so she or he knows more about what to expect. (A helpful handout is included in the facilitation kit.)
  • Explain the purpose and value of the program to the team ahead of time. Ask the leader to give a clear endorsement of the process.
  • Be sure to clearly communicate who is on the team prior to participants taking the assessment so members can fairly evaluate the team.
  • Be ready to clarify the assessment process for team members, if asked.
  • Get familiar with EPIC, the administrative tool, if you have not used it before.

“The Five Behaviors of a Cohesive Team” is a trademark of John Wiley & Sons, Inc.