Based on the book by Patrick Lencioni, The Five Dysfunctions of a Team, there are five dysfunctions in a team that create tension, conflict, and stress. These dysfunctions are heightened in times of change.
Each dysfunction builds on the one below, and they are all built upon the foundation of trust.
Dysfunction 1 – Absence of Trust
This stems from an unwillingness to be vulnerable within a group. Saying things like “I screwed up,” “I’m sorry,” and “I need help,” are absent in groups with this core dysfunction.
Being genuinely open about your mistakes and weaknesses within the group will build a basis for trust.
Dysfunction 2 – Fear of Conflict
Teams who are incapable of being vulnerable with one another will also be incapable of engaging in productive conflict that is invaluable to a team. Instead, they remain silent, feign agreement, and utter veiled comments.
Being able to engage in unfiltered, passionate debate helps bring commitment, accountability, and, ultimately, results.
Dysfunction 3 – Lack of Commitment
An unwillingness to be vulnerable coupled with the fear of conflict naturally leads to a lack of commitment within the team. When there’s feigned agreement with no push back or debate, there can be no buy in of ideas.
Commitment from all members of a team is essential to gaining results.
Dysfunction 4 – Avoidance of Accountability
When teams lack trust, fear conflict, and are uncommitted, they’ll also avoid holding team members accountable. “It’s not my job to make sure he’s doing his job” is a common thought of those in this dysfunction. The problem with this mindset is that a team is one unit, working together toward a common goal.
Therefore, calling one another out on actions that are counterproductive to the goals of the team is absolutely necessary. It’s also necessary to do this with kindness and empathy, offering to help for the good of team.
Dysfunction 5 – Inattention to Results
This occurs when team members put their own ego, career goals, or recognition above the collective goals of the team.
When everyone focuses on getting the same results, moving forward as one unit, the team is more likely to reach their goals.
Thanks for reading,
This is the tenth post in an 11-part series discussing what leaders can do to effectively navigate through times of change. Follow along as we explore the Kubler-Ross Change Curve, differences in DiSC personalities, and the roles of symbolism during change.
Post 1: Leaders Help Others Navigate Change
Post 2: Leaders Recognize Denial & Frustration in Others
Post 3: Leaders Recognize the Moment of Resignation in Others
Post 4: Leaders Encourage Through the Final Stages
Post 5: A Real Life Change Curve Example
Post 6: Leaders Stay Above the Line
Post 7: Leaders Accept Personality Differences During Change
Post 8: Leaders Avoid Withholding During Times of Change
Post 9: Leaders Embrace Relationship Power