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Learn the key ideas of the book by Patrick Lencioni

The Five Dysfunctions of a Team

Learn about the disorders that affect teamwork

Teamwork is an important part of any organisation, especially at the managerial level. It is what makes it possible to achieve goals and make profits. However, according to Lencioni, interactions between team members are often complicated, and can suffer from five dysfunctions that can prove fatal for the entire company. Overcoming them is not easy, because after having identified and exposed them, radical changes may be necessary: ​​the role of the leader is to manage this painful but necessary process through to the point of achieving a stable and healthy status-quo, both for the benefit of individual team members, and of the organisation as a whole.

The Five Dysfunctions of a Team
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Teamwork gives a company a competitive advantage, but five dysfunctions can disrupt team effort

Teamwork is a key strategic factor in any type of organisation. Knowing how to manage a team and its members is something that should never be neglected, and requires a lot of knowledge, which in theory is quite simple, whereas in reality, can be difficult to put into practice. The reason for this is that teams are made up of people, who are never perfect, and each have their own defects, which affect the performance of the team overall.

In fact, there are five dysfunctions that can affect the work of a team, and that apply to any team, no matter what the variables of its sector may be, or the size of its organisation.

Dysfunction number five is the absence of trust. Team members who do not admit their mistakes and weaknesses to colleagues prevent the team from building solid foundations.

Lack of trust breeds dysfunction number four: fear of conflict. Due to the lack of trust, there is never a passionate debate and ideas are not expressed sincerely. It does not necessarily mean that the team members do not argue with each other: sometimes they do, even in an animated way, but in the end, the desire not to upset others always prevails. When healthy conflict is lacking in a group, the commitment to achieving common goals as a group is also affected.

The third dysfunction is, in fact, the lack of commitment, as a result of people not completely buying into the agreed actions.

Dysfunction number two, meanwhile, is present in all teams where people evade their responsibilities: no one really makes an effort, and there is obvious difficulty in communicating with each other, even when errors or deficiencies are identified.

Finally, and in first place, there is the failure to achieve results, which is inevitable, when each member of the team puts their own personal needs first, instead of those of the team.


The key ideas of "The Five Dysfunctions of a Team"

Teamwork gives a company a competitive advantage, but five dysfunctions can disrupt team effort
When a company has a better team, but performs worse than its competitors, there is a dysfunctional problem in its management.
Absence of trust: a team only works if each member is not afraid to show their weaknesses to others
Fear of conflict is a consequence of a lack of trust
A fragmented team unable to constructively discuss issues will not be committed
In a successful team, no one shuns responsibility, and everyone within the team is expected to do the same
When ego takes over, each team member works towards their own goals, and no collective results are achieved
For a team to work well, the five dysfunctions must be overcome: the members of a healthy team are focused on the common good
The role of the leader is to lead the team and its members towards transformation
Take-home message

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