Numerous books have been published on how to succeed in any type of business. These books almost all teach us how to manage a team, but this one is quite different. In essence, it instructs us on how a team shouldn’t be managed if you want to run a successful business. It identifies the team’s dysfunctions and offers some helpful advice for resolving issues.

This book’s author, Patrick Lencioni, used a made-up narrative to describe various concepts. These are the top 5 team dysfunctions that the book’s author has shortlisted.

Absence of Trust:

When there is an absence of trust between team members a team’s progress is likely to decline. Trust is actually the confidence of team members in one another. If team members lack trust, then they are more vulnerable to changing dynamics of business because no one will ask others for help, meetings would be meaningless and everyone will jump to conclusions without listening to others.

Fear of Conflict:

The absence of trust causes fear of conflict between the team members. They will try to avoid discussing any type of controversial topic due to the fear of facing disagreement. The meeting will turn out to be tedious and repetitive because there would be no one to oppose the given idea and ultimately it will cause the company’s downfall.

Lack of Commitment:

The absence of trust and fear of conflict leads to a lack of commitment. Team members become unconcerned and avoid any serious commitment. They don’t understand team goals and decision-making becomes difficult for them.

Avoidance of Accountability:

Lack of communication and trust gives rise to avoidance of accountability among the team members. Teams’ goals become unclear to the individuals and they try to avoid having conversations about their progress.

Inattention to Results:

Ultimately team members start paying minimum attention to the goals of the team and they rather focus on individual achievements and try to develop their own careers. These team members even sacrifice team goals in order to achieve their personal objectives.

Above mentioned dysfunctions tell us that absence of trust is the main reason behind the decline in the team’s progress and inattentiveness to results is the ultimate cause of it.

This book taught us three principles to sort out the dysfunctions of a team. Let’s have a closer look into those 3 principles.

Being open about mistakes will build trust:

As we know trust is the key to any sort of relationship, and the same goes for a team. When team members discuss tough things, issues they are facing and their vulnerability so that they can find the best together. A team leader should tell his team about his vulnerability. In this book, Patrick Lencioni has given an example of CEO Kathryn who tells us his team about his past failures in managing things and even being fired once. Team members started trusting in her and became less reluctant in sharing their issues.

Commitment to a final decision:

Making decisions is a must if you want to grow as a team. When there is no final decision, team members are unclear about the goals which causes uncertainty between them and the pace of work is affected. Although it is impossible for team members to have identical ideas but once the decision is finalised everyone should be fully committed to the team’s decision.

Focus on team goals:

Every team member should know that team goals always come first. Personal successes come in second. In this fable, the author narrates a story about Kathryn’s husband who was a basketball coach. He had to drop his best player because that player put his personal achievements ahead of the team’s goals. Having a crystal-clear goal makes a team work efficiently, progress smoothly and then achieve this goal easily.


Building Trust

Building Trust

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