Topic: Business

Last updated: August 15, 2019

Leadership is integral to organizations that are trying to maximize productivity and to achieve organization objectives.

Patrick Lencioni’s book “Overcoming The Five Dysfunctions of a Team”, frameworks the essentials for a team to be successful. Leaders must help a team function together by recognizing individual strengths and weaknesses as individuals and as a team. It is therefore important to know these five dysfunctions of a team: Absence of Trust, Fear of Conflict, Lack of Commitment, Avoidance of Accountability, and Inattention to Collective Results ().

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Absence of trust is the first dysfunction among team members, in which the type of trust indicated in the book; is the ability of team members to show their weaknesses. Leaders must have team members share experiences, follow-through and have integrity to overcome lack of trust. As a leader, leading by example will build trust within your team. Having weekly team meeting will help generate conversation with in the team, discuss issues, and give recognition where it due. The second dysfunction is when a team cannot productively deal with conflict ().

In order to establish meaningful business relations a team must function productively and avoid conflict for them to grow. Discussing current issues, avoiding personal attacks, and finding the best solutions for the team will help leaders improve the team. Efficient and productive teams know that conflict is a normal part of being in a team. Discussing and developing positive and constructive resolutions to conflict will help leader smooth disagreements. This third dysfunction is lack of commitment, which occurs when team members are not being heard and individuals making decisions without discussing them as a whole. The author said in the book, “When people don’t unload their opinion and feel like they have not been listened to, they won’t get on board” ().

For leaders to avoid this problem, they must note key decisions at their weekly team meetings to make deadlines and responsibilities clear. The fourth dysfunction, Avoidance of Accountability, the author said, ” People are not going to hold each other accountable if they have not clearly bought in to the same plan ().” The leader must delegate work accordingly and have individual meeting with team members. Having a clear understanding of team member’s workload and personal issues will help keep everyone involved.

If team members feel like they have a voice, they communicate with the team. Leaders must magnify the team’s results, rewarding actions and behaviors that contribute to the team’s success (). The fifth dysfunction, Inattention to Results, is the ultimate dysfunction of a team and refers to the tendency of team members to care about something other than the collective goal / mission of the group (). An unrelenting focus on specific objectives and clearly defined outcomes is a requirement for any team that judges itself on performance.

And while it is true that many organizations in a capitalist economic environment ultimately measure their success by profit, revenue or shareholder returns, this dysfunction refers to a far broader definition of results, one that is related to outcome-based performance ().The author provided a step-by-step guide to overcome The Five Dysfunctions of a Team to accomplish goals. Communicating in meetings will help team members be active and address issues. Having open communication and constructive meetings, will help leaders address and prioritize issues. As a leader begins to find solutions to team members issues, it will build trust in the leader and within the team.

When people trust you, they have confidence in your decisions. Even in uncertainty, your leadership will influence them. That is because they expect you to do what you say you’ll do.


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