The Five Dysfunctions of a Team – Part One

This post is the first in a five part series about the book The Five Dysfunctions of a Team by Patrick Lencioni.

Before finishing my MBA I set a goal (more on my goals in a later post) to read two books a month after graduation. The first book I have read as part of this goal is Patrick Lencioni’s The Five Dysfunctions of a Team. I read this book as an undergrad, but the principles have stuck with me a little more now as a working professional.

Lencioni’s first dysfunction is the Absent of Trust. It is described as a team’s confidence in one another and ability to be comfortable being vulnerable around the group. Vulnerabilities include weaknesses, interpersonal shortcomings, mistakes and requests for help. Trust occurs when these variables will not be used against team members.

When reading this, I immediately thought of how departments within an organization communicate with each other. Far too often I have worked in a department where we as a team were afraid to admit we dropped the ball on a task. Rather than admitting to the mistake, an excuse was made and the task became number one priority to be completed. Had there been more trust across departments, the mistake could have been admitted and both teams could have worked to resolve the issue and prevent it from occurring again.

Trust serves as the foundation for effective teamwork. Without trust, teams are dysfunctional and unable to accomplish tasks in an effective manner. With a strong foundation of trust, teams can work through conflict, establish clarity, hold each other accountable, and achieve results.

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