Interpersonal skills to optimize effective military teamwork

High-performing military teams are crucial to mission success. But it takes more than just tactical military training for teamwork to be effective. For teams (and individuals) to complete mission-essential tasks, it takes strong, interpersonal social-fitness skills on top of tactical training. So, what are the person-to-person skills and beliefs that make up high-performing teams?

  • It starts with trust—in each other’s dedication to the mission and the team.
  • With trust comes team cohesion and your teammates uniting to complete a task and form one-on-one connections, no matter how different their backgrounds.
  • Diversity, another key component of optimized teams, is about accepting and recognizing how different skills and experiences can boost creativity and support problem-solving.
  • But at the top of it all, high-performing teams have high-performing leadership. The best leaders foster trust, cohesion, and diversity while also using their own interpersonal skill sets to support their teams across the board.
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Teamwork & Peak Performance

Building a high-performing team isn’t about gathering a group of skilled, well-trained people together. It’s so much more. It’s about how they work together, understand each other, and perceive one another. Consider each of these interpersonal aspects of effective teams.

Trust is believing that each team member is competent, reliable, and loyal to the mission.

Cohesion is about growing connections based on shared commitment, mutual support, and cooperation.

Diversity means respecting each other’s differences to allow for multiple approaches, joint problem-solving, and new ideas.

Leadership is about supporting your team through mutual trust, emotional intelligence, and a bird’s-eye view.

To learn more about building each of these team components, check out the Teams and Leadership section on HPRC.


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