In theory, teamwork is simple. Most of us already know what it requires. But in practice, teamwork is difficult. Building a team is a process, one that requires remarkable levels of discipline, courage, and persistence.
For a team to be truly effective, it must overcome the five dysfunctions as outlined by Patrick Lencioni in his best-selling The Five Dysfunctions of a Team:
- Absence of Trust. Members of great teams trust one another on a fundamental, emotional level, and they are comfortable being vulnerable with each other about their weaknesses, mistakes, fears, and behaviors.
- Fear of Conflict. Teams that trust one another are not afraid to engage in passionate dialogue around issues and decisions that are key to the organization’s success.
- Lack of Commitment. Teams that engage in unfiltered conflict are able to achieve genuine buy-in around important decisions, even when various members of the team initially disagree.
- Avoidance of Accountability. Teams that commit to decisions and standards of performance do not hesitate to hold one another accountable for adhering to those decisions and standards.
- Inattention to Results. Teams that trust one another, engage in conflict, commit to decisions, and hold one another accountable are very likely to set aside their individual needs and agendas and focus almost exclusively on what is best for the team.