Is your team functioning or dysfunctional?

Teamwork makes the dream work – so it isn’t often that we hear about the dysfunctions of a team. Without identifying them, it can be difficult and frustrating to pinpoint exactly where and why teamwork can go wrong.

I recently found ‘the five dysfunctions of a team’ by Patrick M. Lencioni..which goes into great detail about the dysfunctions below, it’s recommending reading.

If something is getting in the way of your team’s ability to run like a finely tuned machine, coming to terms with a few of the hindrances to good teamwork will be sure to shed some light on the matter:

  • Absence of trust. This leads to team members who are unwilling to be vulnerable within the group. A good team is built of individuals who know they can rely on others to listen and trust them.
  • Fear of conflict. Seeking artificial harmony over constructive passionate debate is a short-term solution – it doesn’t make for a successful atmosphere. So long as team members are respectful of each other, the occurrence of productive, ideological conflict will drive the group forwards.
  • Lack of commitment. When there is a lack of clarity within the team, it can prevent members from making commitments that they are prepared to stick to. When some members of a team are less committed than others, tension arises and moving forward becomes difficult.
  • Avoidance of accountability. This happens when team members do not hold others accountable for their behaviours or performance, as they believe it will jeopardise personal relationships.
  • Inattention to results. Focusing on personal success, status and ego before the team is counterproductive – it stops us paying attention to the collective outcomes or results of the team.

Realising that the dysfunctions of a team are no longer something to ignore, but something to be addressed will help you move forward. If you think you could benefit from hearing more about my team coaching or conflict resolution coaching contact me at sarah@sarah-j.com.