5 Dysfunctions of a Team

Topics: Conflict, Team, The A-Team Pages: 10 (2411 words) Published: February 14, 2012
The Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A Leadership Fable. Patrick Lencioni.

Overview of The Model
2 Critical Truths:
1. Genuine teamwork remains elusive in most organizations 2. Organizations fail to achieve teamwork because they unknowingly fall prey to five natural pitfalls or dysfunctions.

The 5 Dysfunctions can be addressed in isolation, but in reality they form an interrelated model.

1. Absence of Trust – The unwillingness to be vulnerable within a group. ❑ Team members who are not genuinely open with one another about their mistakes and weaknesses make it impossible to build a foundation of trust. ❑ The failure to build trust is damaging because it sets the tone for the second dysfunction.

2. Fear of Conflict – Teams that lack trust are incapable of engaging in unfiltered and passionate debate of ideas. ❑ Instead, they resort to veiled discussions and guarded comments. ❑ A lack of healthy conflict is a problem because it ensures the third dysfunction of a team.

3. Lack of Commitment – Without having aired their opinions in the course of passionate and open debate, team members rarely, if ever, buy in and commit to decisions, though the may feign agreement during meetings. ❑ Because of this lack of real commitment and buy-in, team members develop the fourth dysfunction.

4. Avoidance of Accountability – Without committing to a clear plan of action, even the most focused and driven people often hesitate to call their peers on actions and behaviors that seem counterproductive to the good of the team. ❑ Failure to hold one another accountable creates an environment where the fifth dysfunction can thrive.

5. Inattention to Results – Inattention to results occurs when team members put their individual needs (such as ego, career development, or recognition) or even the needs of their division (module team) above the collective goals of the team.

Imagine how members of truly cohesive teams behave:
❑ They trust one another.
❑ They engage in unfiltered conflict around ideas.
❑ They commit to decisions and plans of action.
❑ They hold one another accountable for delivering against those plans. ❑ They focus on the achievement of collective results.

Understanding and Overcoming the Five Dysfunctions

|Dysfunction 1: Absence of Trust | |Trust lies at the heart of functioning, cohesive team. Without it, teamwork is all but impossible. | |Definition: In the context of a team, trust is the confidence among team members that peers' intentions are good and that there is| |no reason to be protective or careful around the group. In essence, teammates must get comfortable being vulnerable with one | |another. | |Vulnerabilities include weaknesses, skill deficiencies, interpersonal shortcomings, mistakes, and requests for help. | |It is not being able to predict a person's behavior based on past experience. | |Members of teams with an absence of trust... |Members of trusting teams... | |Conceal their weaknesses and mistakes from one another |Admit weaknesses and mistakes | |Hesitate to ask for help or provide constructive feedback |Ask for help | |Hesitate to offer help outside their own areas of responsibility |Accept questions and input about their areas of responsibility | |Jump to conclusions about the intentions and aptitudes of others |Give one another the benefit of the doubt before arriving at a | |without attempting to clarify them |negative...
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