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Overcoming the five dysfunctions of a team

Kirjoittanut: Johanna Rita - tiimistä Revena.

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Overcoming The Five Dysfunctions of a Team
Patrick Lencioni
Esseen arvioitu lukuaika on 3 minuuttia.

Introduction of the book

Patrick Lencioni is an author of Five Dysfunction of a Team, which is published in 2005. He has written many books about team building and they have been very popular. He works also as a business consultant.

Team building can be challenging, but the book offers great tools to build a successful team. It will also help to fix the inoperative team.


Method behind the Five dysfunctions of a team

The most important thing of team building is to recognize the dysfunctions, says Lencioni.

There is five of those dysfunctions and all of them must be fixed to achieve a good team. First of those dysfunctions is the absence of trust.

There is no teamwork if there is no trust. All the team members really need to feel so comfortable that they can show they vulnerability in front of the other members. If they cannot, there are going to be big problems.
The second dysfunction is conflict. If the team cannot dive into a passionate discussion team would not hear all the good ideas that team members might have. Team will not develop. And if the team

the team cannot have a passionate discussion, members of the team will not say their mind about the matter in hand.

That is how the third dysfunction comes up: it is a lack of commitment. If team members do not have any chance to say their opinions, they will not commitment to the decision.

There are still two dysfunctions left, and another one is avoidance of accountability. Accountability means that the teamleader is not the only one in the team that is accountable of the team members success. Every single team member is accountable of their own but also other team members success. That is not always easy thing to do but if there is commitment in the team it happens as if by itself. Lencioni believes that commitment increases accountable.

Fifth dysfunction is inattention to results. But if there is trust, commitment and accountability in team, the members are able to decide their goals together. Lencioni says that is good to remember that not all the goals are linked to revenue. But they can still be good goals because they are goals for the team. He has noticed that without good team there is no good revenue either.


How to get rid of the dysfunctions in a team

Patrick Lencioni has told the dysfunctions of the team but he also tell what kind of tools you need to fix them. Some of those dysfunctions are easier to fix and some of them takes more time and patience. When team starts to overcome those dysfunctions they should remember that those problems will not be fixed in short time. Lencioni reminds that team has to work hard every day to change better team. He has practical exercises that team can use. He also recommend that the team will go outside of the workplace and spend two days together concentrating the exercises which help to fix dysfunctions.

First of all it is important to remember that the childhood has a huge impact to us. One of those exercise is easy but it can have a big effect. Lencioni calls it personal history exercise. Team members should ask simple questions from each others: where did you grow up? How many children there were in the family? What was the biggest difficulty challenge of being a child? That is how team members get to know each others better. That exercise can help team members get to know new aspects about their peers.

Another good tip that Lencioni recommends is that everyone in team should do Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. The MBTI -test indicates 16 different personality types and is very accurate about our behaviors. This test will help to building trust when team members are doing it together. Understanding how different people deals conflict is a very good start to build passionate discussion into the teamwork.

When team members need to work with commitment, they have to make sure that every team member has chance to say what are they thinking. That is a very important part of commitment. In conversation team leader has to make sure that every single member has told his / hers thoughts. In the end of the conversation the team leader will ask once more if every individual has told their ideas and leader write those thoughts to the paper.

Eventually is time to set the goals for the whole team. Lencioni recommends that the first goal is that team looks to the dysfunctions in short period and reflects if there has been any problems in there. Team should think how to measure success in these dysfunctions. It is important to talk together with all the team members.

Patrick Lencioni introduces many tools to overcome dysfunctions. Team and team leader should also remember that all of these tools can be designed to the needs of the own team.



Lencioni, P. 2002. The five dysfunctions of a team. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.


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