The 5 Dysfunctions of a team fully explained

The 5 Dysfunctions Of A Team Fully Explained

Last month The Synchronicity Team read The Five Dysfunctions of a Team by Patrick Lencioni. In this article, I will go more in depth about what each of these dysfunctions are.

"Trust is knowing that when a team member does push you, they’re doing it because they care about the team."

- Patrick Lencioni

The Five Dysfunctions of a Team

1. Trust

The first dysfunction of a team is the absence of trust. Trust is the foundation of a team. It requires that people get vulnerable about what they are good at, who they are,  if they have made a mistake, and open up with other team members. A level of comfort must be created, which involves admitting mistakes, taking responsibility, calling out weaknesses. Once this is normalized within the work culture, the level of trust will begin to grow. Without trust, we can’t overcome the fear of conflict.

2. Conflict 

The second dysfunction of a team is fear of conflict. Team members have to be able to share their opinions openly (trust) in order to engage in conflict.  Conflict is necessary. We have to engage in conflict because if we don’t have it, then we will have a lack of commitment and people will be very passive in their decision making. 

3. Commitment 

The third dysfunction of a team is the lack of commitment. Conflict is necessary for team members to make decisions. Without firm decisions, there is a lot of ambiguity and team members feel less committed to the purpose of the company. 

4. Accountability

The fourth dysfunction of a team is the avoidance of accountability. If people don’t feel committed to the team, then they are less likely to take self accountability and call others out on a lack of accountability. If people are not holding each other accountable than they won’t pay attention to the collective results of the team. For example, if you see your colleague on their laptop during a meeting multiple times and you don’t say anything because you want to avoid conflict, then you probably don’t even feel responsible for their actions because you don’t feel committed to the team. 



The fifth dysfunction of a team is the inattention to results. When individuals are not held accountable, they put their own needs ahead of the team goals and entirely lose sight of the collective results of the team. 

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