Pat Lencioni’s hugely popular Five Dysfunctions of a Team is a simple, logical and effective explanation
of the missing behaviours in failing teams. Reframed, it’s a practical team building ‘how to’.
Why do these behaviours matter in teams?
When trust is high, team members feel safe to be vulnerable. This means being able to say “I don’t know what to do here” “I’m out of my depth” “sorry, I was out of order the way I spoke to you yesterday”. When trust is high, so is openness and honesty, the foundation for helping people realise their potential.
Productive conflict lies at the heart of innovation. Great teams thrive on difference and challenge, conflict is ideas based and frequent. Without trust, conflict becomes personal and shows up as politics.
Commitment leads to buy-in. You may not agree with the final decision but if you’ve been listened to, your voice has been heard and you feel everyone is on the same page, you will commit to the team’s decision.
Holding ourselves and each other accountable for behaviour and results preferences team goals over individuals. Think of it as peer group pressure.
High performing teams are clear and aligned on the results they’re seeking to achieve, checking their course and re-calibrating if they need to, often.
According to Lencioni, teamwork is the biggest untapped sustainable competitive advantage because it is so difficult and so rare but it’s not rocket science. It takes grit, discipline and vision and then practice, practice, practice, practice.