Dysfunction #3: Lack of Commitment.
Without conflict, it is difficult for team members to commit to decisions,
creating an environment where ambiguity prevails. Lack of direction and
commitment can make employees…particularly star employees…disgruntled.
Often times a lack of commitment is caused by the desire for
consensus and the need for clarity. It is important for teams to be able to
find ways to achieve buy-in, even when complete agreement is not possible.
Great teams make sure all the opinions are heard and then reach a decision
based on the best solution...
Dysfunction #1: Absence of Trust.
Essentially, trust within a team is the confidence among team members that
their peers’ intentions are good.
Without a certain comfort level among team members, a foundation of trust is
next to impossible. An absence of trust occurs when team members are
reluctant to be vulnerable with one another and are unwilling to
admit their mistakes, weaknesses, or needs for help.
Dysfunction #2: Fear of Conflict.
Teams that are lacking on trust are incapable of engaging in unfiltered,
passionate debate about key issues, causing situations where team
conflict can easily
turn into veiled discussions and back-channel comments. In a work
setting where team members do not openly air their opinions, inferior
decisions are the result.
Unfortunately, conflict is considered taboo in many situations,
especially at work.
And, the higher up you go along the management chain, the more you
witness individuals spending inordinate amounts of time and energy trying to
avoid the kind of passionate debates that are essential to any successful
Dysfunction #5: Inattention to Results.
Team members naturally tend development, recognition, etc.) ahead of the
collective goals of the team when individuals aren’t held accountable. If a
team has lost sight of the need for achievement, the business ultimately
The only way to conquer this dysfunction is to make desired results clear
and reward those behaviors and actions that contribute to those results.
Dysfunction #4: Avoidance of Accountability.
When teams don’t commit to a clear plan of action, even the most focused
and driven individuals hesitate to call their peers on actions and behaviors
that may seem
counterproductive to the overall good of the team. Team members who
are close may
hesitate holding one another accountable for fear it could jeopardize
The Five Dysfunctions of a Team
by Patrick Lencioni
Maura Larkins' note:
I've always been astounded when teachers refused to admit their
mistakes in the classroom. What could be worse than knowingly
leaving students with false information? Some teachers are afraid of
being exposed as incompetent, and as a result, they perform worse than
they otherwise would. For heaven's sake, even geniuses make mistakes.
A confident teacher simply says, "Oh, that was wrong. Let me give you
the correct information." This same thing happens when teachers
are making decisions about how the school will be run.
Some teams fail
because they don't
allow the wisdom of
crowds to be heard
Monday, December 29, 2008
"Why Social Media and
Wisdom of Crowds Don't Mix"
A couple of months ago I
was watching a short lecture
by James Surowiecki, the
man who coined the term
"Wisdom of Crowds". Two
concepts caught my
attention: "Under the right
conditions, groups can be
remarkably intelligent" and
"Groups are only smart
when the people in them are
as independent as possible."
I heard a coin drop... what I
realized is that "Social
voting" and "Wisdom of
Crowds" just don't naturally
In a way, it makes perfect
sense. If we all vote as a
group, we actually vote as a
single person and the
wisdom is gone with the
Education Reform Report