Published on March 8, 2014
The 5 Dysfunctions of a Team Based upon the material by Pat Lencioni – President, The Table Group www.tablegroup.com Presented by Eric Brown
Pat Lencioni “Teamwork remains the one sustainable competitive advantage that has been largely untapped.” From Overcoming the Five Dysfunctions of a Team
Dysfunctions #1 The fear to be vulnerable with team members prevents the building of trust within the team. This is vulnerability based trust: “I was wrong”, “I made a mistake”, “I need your help” Absence of TRUST Work with people to gain trust
Absence of Trust • One person can destroy a team’s trust and, consequently, the decision making process. Example: the person that talks in meetings and no one comments on his ideas because ALL he will do is defend his position until someone changes the subject. This shuts a team down
Building Trust • Trust is the foundation of teamwork. • Building trust takes time, but the process can be greatly accelerated. • Like a good marriage, trust on a team is never complete; it must be maintained over time.
Dysfunctions #2 The desire to preserve artificial harmony stifles the occurrence of productive, ideological conflict. Fear of CONFLICT Absence of TRUST This is healthy, passionate debate: “What do you think of this idea?” Trust is essential for conflict
Fear of Conflict • Are people holding back? Are they picking their battles? • The most important place for conflict is in meetings! Example: “why are there so many meetings?”, “meeting don’t matter”, “why are they so long?” It’s not that there are too many meetings, it’s that they’re bad meetings Meetings should matter, and the first 10 minutes should be the best!
Mastering Conflict • Good conflict among team members requires trust, which is all about engaging in unfiltered, passionate debate around issues. • Even among the best teams, conflict will at times be uncomfortable. • Conflict norms, though they will vary from team to team, must be discussed and made clear among the team. • The fear of occasional personal conflict should not deter a team from having regular, productive debate.
Dysfunctions #3 Lack of COMMITMENT Fear of CONFLICT Absence of TRUST The lack of clarity and/or fear of being wrong prevents team members from making decisions in a timely and definitive way. This is all the cards on the table: “Can you commit to this idea?” Healthy debate leads to commitment
Lack of Commitment • If people do not weigh in/debate during meetings, then they will not actively commit to the final decision. Example: after the fact meetings, “can you believe he said that?”, “I am not sure this is the best idea for us at this time”, “I’m not 100% behind this.” If people do not commit they will not hold each other accountable. The leader has to be willing to do this first.
Achieving Commitment • Commitment requires clarity and buy-in. • Clarity requires that team avoid assumptions and ambiguity, and that they end discussions with a clear understanding about what they’ve decided upon. • Buy-in does not require consensus. Members of great teams learn to disagree with one another and still commit to a decision.
Dysfunctions #4 Avoidance of ACCOUNTABILITY Lack of The need to avoid interpersonal discomfort prevents team members from holding one another accountable for their behaviors. COMMITMENT Fear of CONFLICT Absence of TRUST This is holding others accountable for their behavior Peer to peer is powerful
Avoidance of Accountability • This applies to all levels: team level; manager level; director level; VP level; C level; Board level Example: leaders usually have the hardest time holding their people accountable. Peer pressure and letting down a colleague will motivate a team player more than any fear of punishment or rebuke.
Embracing Accountability • Accountability on a strong team occurs directly among peers. • For a culture of accountability to thrive, a leader must demonstrate a willingness to confront difficult issues. • The best opportunity for holding one another accountable occurs during meetings, and the regular review of a team scoreboard provides a clear context for doing so.
Dysfunctions #5 Inattention to RESULTS Avoidance of The desire for individual credit erodes the focus on collective success. ACCOUNTABILITY Lack of COMMITMENT Fear of CONFLICT Absence of TRUST This is about what the team is trying to achieve more than a member’s personal interest
Inattention to Results • By nature, people tend to drift and will pay attention to other things if they are not held accountable. Example: a person more interested in personal growth, own interests, or departmental goals than the team results
Focusing on Results • The true measure of a great team is that it accomplishes the results it sets out to achieve. • To avoid distractions, team members must prioritize the results of the team over the individual or departmental needs. • To stay focused, teams must publicly clarify their desired results and keep them visible.
The Five Functions RESULTS ACCOUNTABILITY COMMITMENT CONFLICT TRUST • Build Trust • Master Conflict • Achieve Commitment • Embrace Accountability • Focus on Results
Strategies RESULTS ACCOUNTABILITY Build Trust • Identify and discuss individual strengths and weaknesses COMMITMENT CONFLICT TRUST • Spend time in face-to-face meetings and working sessions
Trust Exercises • Get team members to share about growing up • Go around the table answering three questions: where they grew up; how many siblings they have and where they fall in the order; what was the most difficult/important challenge of their childhood • Behavior Profiles • Use Myers-Briggs, DISC, or other such tool • Have team complete tests prior to session • At beginning of session give test overview
Trust Exercises • List all types on a white board and discuss • Have team identify their type and read brief descriptions • Identify team strengths and the weaknesses they must avoid • Within a week have team members go back to the teams they lead and discuss their profiles
Strategies RESULTS ACCOUNTABILITY COMMITMENT CONFLICT TRUST Master Conflict • Acknowledge that conflict is required for productive meetings • Establish common ground rules for engaging in conflict • Understand individuals natural conflict styles
Conflict Exercises • Give real-time permission as it is happening • As conflict arises, pause to let the team know this is good for the success of the team • Mine for conflict • Actively look for areas/topics that people are avoiding and lay it on the table for discussion • Bring clarity to how the team can expect to engage in debate • Have team members write down their preferences for acceptable and unacceptable
Conflict Exercises behaviors around discussion and debate • Have members review their prefs with the rest of the team while someone captures key similarities • Discuss prefs while paying special attention to areas of difference • Formally record and distribute behavioral expectations for conflict/debate
Conflict Exercises • Review Depth-Frequency Conflict Model with team • Have members recreate model on blank sheet with their name at the top • Pass sheets to the right and have each person place an X on the chart indicating how the person named at top engages in conflict • When sheet returns to original owner have each review his chart then plot all members on a large chart for discussion/implications
Depth-Freq Conflict Model High Rare but substantive conflict Frequent and substantive conflict Rare and shallow conflict Frequent but shallow conflict Depth Low Low High Frequency
Strategies RESULTS ACCOUNTABILITY COMMITMENT CONFLICT TRUST Achieve Commitment • Review commitments at the end of each meeting to ensure all members are aligned • Adopt a “disagree and commit” mentality – make sure all members are committed regardless of initial disagreements
Commitment Exercises • Commitment clarification • Take last 5-minutes of meeting to go to white board and ask, “what have we agreed upon today?” • If no consensus, provoke further discussion • Everyone records all commitments and distributes within 24 hours to needed parties • Clarify team principles • Have team discuss and come to resolution around the following:
Commitment Exercises 1. Structure and schedule for meetings 2. Preferred methods for communication (i.e. email, voice mail, etc.) 3. Timeliness of responding to one another 4. Use of common resources, human and otherwise 5. Availability of members during non-work hours 6. Level of freedom to engage one another’s staffs 7. Extent to which being on time is a priority
Strategies RESULTS ACCOUNTABILITY Embrace Accountability • Explicitly communicate goals and behavior COMMITMENT CONFLICT TRUST • Regularly discuss performance versus goals and standards
Accountability Exercises • Feedback forum for behavior and performance • Have all team members answer the following two questions about all other members: 1. What’s the person’s most important behavioral quality that contributes to strength of the team? 2. What’s the person’s most important behavioral quality that detracts from the strength of the team? • Begin with comments about the leader read all the positives • Ask for response from leader: Any surprises?
Accountability Exercises Any questions for clarifications? • Continue to focus on leader reading all negative comments • Continue in this format for every team member • At the end have each member summarize 1-2 key take-away points for development • At the next off-site meeting have members report progress in these key areas
Strategies RESULTS ACCOUNTABILITY Focus on Results • Keep the team focused on tangible group goals COMMITMENT CONFLICT TRUST • Reward individuals based on team goals and collective success
Results Exercises • Establish a team scoreboard • Have the team discuss and agree upon a handful of supporting objectives that must be accomplished for the overall goal to be achieved • Make goals public and real
Obstacles to Avoid • The leader is not truly committed to building a quality team • Team members are holding back • Someone is dominating the session • Team members are dispersed and do not generally spend much time together • A top performer is not committed or interested in the team-building process • A team member reports to two different teams
The Role of the Leader • Be Vulnerable • Demand Debate • Force Clarity & Closure • Confront Difficult Situations • Focus on Collective Outcomes
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