Book information: The Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A Leadership Fable
Author: Patrick Lencioni
Address each of these five dysfunctions and why managing them is critical to the success on specific program based on my activity (Golf Driving Range). In addition, discuss specifics that would help reduce the effects of these dysfunctions in environment.
Dysfunction #1: Absence of Trust
Lencioni equates trust with showing some form of vulnerability or maintaining a certain comfort level among members of a team. Being comfortable with each other is paramount in a group process, so that one can freely admit mistakes or call for help when it is needed. Team members can sometimes be reluctant to trust, since they feel that being vulnerable (or showing one’s weakness) reflects negatively on their person. This observation certainly seems applicable my field, and I believe what is needed is to see each other as individuals with both strengths and weaknesses, and to understand how each of us came to be the person we are now.
Dysfunction #2: Fear of Conflict
Fear of conflict, often stemming from lack of trust hampers a team’s effectiveness. Team members who fear conflict are incapable of contributing to meaningful discussions of key issues and as a result, the bad decisions are made. Debate, while uncomfortable at times is a necessary factor in producing the best output as well as in maximizing a team’s effectiveness. When a complete agreement is not possible, it is important that everyone’s idea is considered. Lencioni also suggests putting each person’s views about conflict out in the open so it can be discussed and be taken into account in group dynamics.
Dysfunction #3: Lack of Commitment
Without commitment, a team cannot fully support and back-up decisions—this creates an air of uncertainty in the workplace, and often results in the absence of a solid thrust or direction. According to Lencioni, this can be abated by achieving clarity: that is, getting members to buy-in or commit to a decision, even when they do not completely agree with it. Everyone must realize that a decision made is better that none at all. In addition to this, one important factor of fostering commitment is making sure that team members have the same impressions regarding decisions before walking out of a meeting.
Dysfunction #4: Avoidance of Accountability
Avoidance of accountability has roots in a team’s inability to commit. Accountability, according to Lencioni, is the willingness to keep each other in check with regards to upholding the standards set by the team. Teams members sometimes hesitate to call others into action when they feel that they do not have enough commitment. This can be managed by openly discussing those traits or behaviors that are counterproductive to the team, thus making each person accountable for his or her own actions.
Dysfunction #5: Inattention to Results
Inattention to results stems from the individual’s natural drive for self-interest and self-preservation. If the tendency of inattention to results is not managed, then the quality and quantity of a team’s output dramatically declines.
Managing this dysfunction would typically mean keeping the team constantly aware of their progress, by keeping them focused and minimizing personal distractions. Another possible workaround for this dysfunction would be potential perks and rewards for successful team efforts, rewards that each member can enjoy individually (such as monetary). The efforts of the team should be focused upon a few aspects (perhaps one or two) of the ultimate goal at a time.