I just finished reading The Five Dysfunctions of a Team. It took me just a few hours and it was really enjoyable reading. The book presents leadership in teams in the form of a self-reflective story that is engaging, educational, and in ways that ring true.
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Patrick Lencioni presents the following model as the The Five Dysfunctions of a Team:
Below is his explanation for each piece of the model:
- Dysfunction #1: Absence of Trust — This occurs when team members are reluctant to be vulnerable with one another and are unwilling toadmit their mistakes, weaknesses or needs for help. Without a certain comfort level among team members, a foundation of trust is impossible.
- Dysfunction #2: Fear of Conflict — Teams that are lacking on trust are incapable of engaging in unfiltered, passionate debate about key issues, causing situations where team conflict can easily turn into veiled discussions and back channel comments. In a work setting where team members do not openly air their opinions, inferior decisions are the result.
- Dysfunction #3: Lack of Commitment — Without conflict, it is difficult for team members to commit to decisions, creating an environment where ambiguity prevails. Lack of direction and commitment can make employees, particularly star employees, disgruntled.
- Dysfunction #4: Avoidance of Accountability — When teams don’t commit to a clear plan of action, even the most focused and driven individuals hesitate to call their peers on actions and behaviors that may seem counterproductive to the overall good of the team.
- Dysfunction #5: Inattention to Results — Team members naturally tend to put their own needs (ego, career development, recognition, etc.) ahead of the collective goals of the team when individuals aren’t held accountable. If a team has lost sight of the need for achievement, the business ultimately suffers.
Chime-in Comes Before Buy-in
One critical piece that relates to Change Leadership, which I’m very interested in, is the fact that before agents buy-in into an idea or concept or new way of doing things, people must first have the chance to weigh-in or chime-in. After people are sincerely listened-to and heard, then buy-in can happen, whether or not the agents agree with the idea or are never initially persuaded. This is a simple, yet powerful principle that often is not considered in most change management activities. Without chime-in, agents resist to the change and change initiatives will most likely not get the momentum needed for wholesale adoption.
All in all, I have learned much from The Five Dysfunctions of a Team. Leadership is an area I’m very, very interested in and wish to gain more experience in, and am actively trying to improve on. I’m grateful for the experiences I’ve had so far that have helped me to learn more about Leadership and, in some some small ways, have helped me become a better leader. Books like this continue to help me learn more of something I plan to always continue to learn more about and will always actively try to be better at.