Author: Patrick Lencioni
|The Five Dysfunctions of a Team (2002) Summary focuses on the importance of teamwork and especially highlighted those five dysfunctions of a team. Moreover, the author has suggested ways we can overcome the dysfunctions and become an effective team.|
The book is written by Patrick Lencioni who is the founder and president of The Table Group. In his book The Five Dysfunctions of a Team, he has shared his personal view on why teams suffer from being dysfunctional. And what strategies should be adopted to overcome the dysfunctions?
According to him, working in a team is not easy. We all want to be bosses and don’t want to be work under anyone. When we are working together as a team, there is a possibility that mistrust, politics, and ego come in the way. But when we overcome the dysfunctions of a team, we will be able to become an efficient team that can give a lot of benefits to the company and its rivals.
The five dysfunctions of a team are:
- Absence of Trust: Teams who lack trust conceal weaknesses and mistakes, hesitate to ask for help, jump to conclusions about the intentions of others and hold grudges
- Fear of Conflict: A lack of trust leads to the fear of conflict. In these companies, employees worry more about politics and personal risk management than solving problems.
- Lack of Commitment: When teams become conflict-avoidant, a fear of failure develops. These teams have difficulty making decisions and second guess themselves.
- Avoidance of Accountability: Second-guessing and a lack of common objectives then lead to an inability to develop standards for performance. Team members miss deadlines and deliver mediocre work.
- Inattention to results: When teams lack focus and clear objectives, team members stagnate, become distracted, and focus on themselves.
All of these dysfunctions are interlinked and lead to inefficiency in teamwork.
The Five Dysfunctions of a Team Summary Key Points
Don’t hide your weaknesses and mistakes
The book guides us that when we are working in a team, we should be open about our weaknesses. Moreover, we should not hide mistakes as this can cause trust issues. Moreover, almost all the dysfunctions of the team arise because of the lack of trust.
You should be honest with your team members so that they trust you. In this way, trust will be developed between your team members and they will help you with your problems instead of judging you. When team members are vulnerable to one another, they create trust. People must realize that there is no reason to shield themselves and begin to open up about their faults and flaws. The leader, as much as the most vulnerable, must be an example of vulnerability.
Take a look at an example of this from the book’s fictional story.
Kathryn, the CEO of DecisionTech, recognized the importance of taking the time to communicate mistakes with the team. She took the lead by addressing the team about her previous managerial failures and her firing. Kathryn gained the team’s trust by doing so, and she also assisted them in opening up and sharing their own flaws.
Support every decision
According to the author, it’s important to make all the decisions together in a team. Not only this but stand by the decision. This is the secret of becoming an efficient team.
Team members understand that making any decision is always preferable to making a no-decision. When a team fails to make a decision, there will be confusion and ambiguity, which will impair work at all levels. However, reaching an agreement may not always be achievable. People have diverse viewpoints, and pleasing everyone is neither easy nor practical. That’s why, regardless of whether they agree, effective team members agree to commit to a decision that will support the common aim.
To achieve so, though, every viewpoint must be heard. Even if their opinions disagree, most sensible people will accept a choice as long as their sentiments are heard and treated. A quality of a cohesive team is that it works well together.
Stop seeking out individual recognition
The book teaches us a lesson that the ultimate dysfunction is the team’s desire for individual recognition at the price of the team’s success. Individuals in sports teams are very effective at convincing them to prioritize the team above themselves.
So, in order to become an efficient team, members realize that the goal of the team is more important than individual gains. Take for example the story of Kathryn’s husband, a basketball coach. He had to drop one of his best players because that player was more concerned about how many points, he scored than whether or not the team won the game.
In the workplace, the leader must treat the team’s overall performance as crucial as the final score of a football game. If the team loses, no matter how well an individual performs on the team, everyone loses. The leader must set the tone for a results-oriented approach. If the team believes the leader prioritizes something other than results, they will interpret this as permission.
Who would I recommend The five dysfunctions of a team summary to?
The Five Dysfunctions of a Team Summary is recommended to all leaders and those who aspire to be leaders. The book will guide them on how important is teamwork in order to be successful.