For the next building block in the Five Behaviors of a Cohesive Team™ series, Accountability, I’d like tell you about the experience in laying the groundwork for improving a group we recently assisted.

Michelle led a small group of directors for a hospitality company and we joined them during a retreat they held to work on company goals. In addition to the Five Behaviors, we also facilitated the Everything DiSC® personal style test. As we’ve discussed before, DiSC is an acronym of four personal styles: D is for Dominance, I is for Influence, S is for Steadiness and C is for Conscientiousness. The assessment enables people to learn their individual, personal styles and those of their colleagues and how to best interact with each other based on those traits. 

Michelle’s group of directors had very similar DiSC styles and when looking at their behavior as a team in the first three building blocks – trust, conflict and commitment – they were performing fairly well. Their first test however came the next day, in the area of Accountability – the fourth building block to an effective team. 


One of the directors showed up an hour and half late to the first workshop. As the team leader, Michelle would normally say something privately to the director about his behavior. But instead she waited to see what he or the other team members would do.

“We were just talking the day before about accountability and owning up to our weaknesses and being vulnerable,” Michelle said. “I see that as our biggest area of opportunity.” She hoped that the director would own up to his behavior and how it affected the team.

In a cohesive team, accountability extends beyond the influence of the leader and to the individual members. Not only does everyone hold one another accountable, each member is accountable for his or her own behavior.


When there is no accountability, anarchy rules. Teams fall apart. Goals and missions are never accomplished, and everyone plays the blame game. “I was waiting on him,” or “She did not do was she was supposed to do,” etc.

On an effective team, co-workers will speak up if one member is not pulling his or her weight. Individuals will admit to the team if they have dropped the ball or need help.

At the end of the workshop, the tardy director pulled everyone together and gave a heart-felt, sincere apology for being late. He owned it and the team came one step closer to being more accountable to each other.

“I know this would not have happened had we not taken the time to learn about DiSC styles and the behaviors of a cohesive team,” Michelle said.


When people will hold themselves and their team members accountable for their words and actions they are in a better position to accomplish the final step that is the hallmark of a cohesive team: Results. 


Watch this video that introduces the Five Behaviors and how you can use these tools to build a strong, high-functioning team.

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Learn how People & Performance Strategies can help you build a solid, focused team.

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