Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Overcoming the Five Dysfunctions of a Team

This is the first of a five part series on high performance teamwork, based on the book, The Five Dysfunctions of a Team by Patrick Lencioni.  The five major dysfunctions that Lencioni has identified, which is backed up by the research are:

*Absence of Trust
*Fear of Conflict
*Lack of Commitment
*Avoidance of Accountability
*Inattention to Results

I highly recommend the book and will, in this series, provide you with an overview of how to overcome each of the five dysfunctions.

Building trust is the bedrock of high performance teamwork.  So how do you build trust in a team?  Here are a few insights.

First, as the leader of the team, you have to personally exhibit strong ethical behavior. People watch and evaluate everything you do.  They need to know that they can trust you to do what you say you are going to do; that you are honest and fair.  This will build their respect for you.

Next, provide opportunities for team members to get to know one another more personally.  For example - off-site retreats, ropes courses, and personality styles assessments (e.g., MBTI, DISC, StrengthsFinder) can be used to help team members get to know one another in more depth.  As another example, I serve on a board where the new chair took us on a retreat and had each person give a six-eight minute presentation on their life – broken into three segments, however we wanted to organize it.  It was very impactful and I felt more connected to my fellow board members afterwards.

Finally, let yourself be vulnerable to the rest of the team and role model that this is okay behavior.  None of us are perfect and yet, as leaders, we often feel like we have to be perfect in front of everyone else.  If you can lower that veil of invulnerability, it will engender trust among you and others.  And, importantly, it will role model this behavior for others.

There are no magical ways to immediately build trust in a team.  But, following these suggestions can put you on the right path to more effective teamwork and enhanced Mission Impact.

For more ideas on how you can lead breakthroughs in your organization, follow this blog and check out my web site at www.SheehanNonprofitConsulting.com   You will find free resources you can download, including a Breakthrough Strategy Workbook that you can download at no cost.  You can also check out my book, Mission Impact:  Breakthrough Strategies for Nonprofits, and buy it if you are interested.  And you can follow Sheehan Nonprofit Consulting on Facebook.

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