Five Dysfunctions of a Team

Overcoming the 5 dysfunctions of a team

Like it or not, all teams are potentially dysfunctional. This is inevitable because they are made up of fallible, imperfect human beings. From the basketball court to the executive suite, politics and confusion are more the rule than the exception. However, facing dysfunction and focusing on teamwork is particularly critical at the top of an organization because the executive team sets the tone for how all employees work with one another.

Fortunately, there is hope. Counter to conventional wisdom, the causes of dysfunction are both identifiable and curable. However, they don't die easily. Making a team functional and cohesive requires levels of courage and discipline that many groups cannot seem to muster.

Workshop Objectives:

To identify the reasons that your team is dysfunctional:

  • Do team members openly and readily disclose their opinions?
  • Are team meetings compelling and productive?
  • Does the team come to decisions quickly and avoid getting bogged down by consensus?
  • Do team members confront one another about their shortcomings?
  • Do team members sacrifice their own interests for the good of the team?

Although no team is perfect and even the best teams sometimes struggle with one or more of these issues, the finest organizations constantly work to ensure that their answers are "yes." If you answered "no" to many of these questions, your team may need some work.

Workshop Outcomes:

To identify ways to overcome the five common dysfunctions of a team:

  • Absence of Trust
  • Fear of Conflict
  • Lack of Commitment
  • Avoidance of Accountability
  • Inattention to Results

The first step toward reducing politics and confusion within your team is to understand that there are five dysfunctions to contend with, and address each that applies, one by one.