The Five Dysfunctions of a Team

I’ve been blessed to be a part of several different teams; athletic teams, ministerial groups, school committees, and leadership teams. In every one of them, there were five principle dysfunctions that would regularly try to creep in to cause us to be ineffective. If you aren’t attentive, they will creep in and destroy your team as well.
via Melanie Holtsman @ Flickr Creative Commons

via Melanie Holtsman @ Flickr Creative Commons

To keep a car going straight down the highway, small adjustments must constantly be made by the person at the steering wheel. The natural course of any vehicle is to drift off course. It’s forced off track by influencing factors like it’s own acceleration, loose alignment, and bumps in the road.
Your car is much like your business or organization. Left to it’s own, it will gradually drift off track. It’s constantly being pulled by it’s own growth, personal agendas, and unforeseen challenges. To ignore these five dysfunctions that will constantly pull at your team is to take your hands off the wheel.
1) The absence of trust. Great teams trust each other. They have each other’s backs and never have to look over one another’s shoulders. They believe in each person’s ability and willingness to fill his/her own role.
2) The fear of conflict. There will be times that the only thing keeping your organization from growing is that one hard conversation that needs to happen. Be brave. Confront that person, that issue, and you’ll not regret it.
3) The weathering of commitment. Achieving great things takes time. With time comes opposition. Face enough opposition, and your faith will get shaky. The way to press through this is to have a strong “why”. People who lose their “why” will easily lose their way.
4) The lack of accountability. Holding each other accountable will increase resolve. No one from your weakest team member to the strongest wants to be ineffective. If only for their own pride’s sake, they will break their backs to not let the team down.
5) The ignoring of results. I’ve had some great ideas and even more bad ideas. To ignore the things that aren’t working  is arrogance. Don’t be afraid to look at the results and accept them for what they are. Then either celebrate or figure out how to improve.
Question: Which one of these is trying to attack your organization right now? Which do you have the most trouble with? 

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