The 5 Dysfunctions of a Team

by: Rusty Rushton
This book is a leadership fable revealing the basics of teamwork and the impact it has on an organization when the team is not working together.  The 5 dysfunctions are the absence of trust, fear of conflict, lack of commitment, avoidance of accountability, and inattention to results.   Any weakness in these areas will result in negative morale and lack of accomplishment.

Absence of trust is caused by members being unable to show their weaknesses; to be vulnerable and open with one another.  It is a huge waste of time and energy as members focus more on defensive behaviors than asking for help or assisting each other. 

Teams that lack trust are incapable of having a constructive debate; replacing conflict with artificial harmony.  Conflict is productive when team members openly express their opinion; resulting in good decisions.

Without conflict, team members will not commit to decisions when their opinions are not included.  Productive teams make joint and transparent decisions and are confident that they have the support of each other.

When teams don’t commit, they cannot have accountability.  It is the responsibility of each team member to hold each other accountable and accept it when others hold them accountable.  The key to success is the measurement of progress.

The team becomes results oriented when all members place the team’s results first.  This is adverse to each member looking out for their own interests.  Make the team results clear and reward good behaviors that contribute to team results.

How is your team doing?

Abbie Dzara