CLASSIC DYSFUNCTIONS OF A TEAM (OR FAMILY)

CLASSIC DYSFUNCTIONS OF A TEAM (OR FAMILY)

I have just been delivering Team Performance workshops with a fabulous bunch of people who all happen to be nurses and doctors; health professionals.

They are a great team. But they WANT to be a greater, better, stronger team. They have some dysfunctions which are really unhelpful to their performance, and it struck me that we probably all share some of these…what do you think?

Let’s assume that your team already has a strong cohesive leadership team already in place. Despite this, there is a still a risk of dysfunction because of the following:

1) The absence of Trust. This is a critical requirement of all teams – the foundation – and it involves people being open and vulnerable with one another. They must feel safe admitting their mistakes, their strengths and weaknesses. No team can be built without trust. because if we don’t have trust we can’t overcome the second dysfunction…

2) Fear of Conflict. Conflict is not only a good thing, it is necessary and required. We have to engage in conflicts, and when we have trust, conflict becomes nothing but the passionate pursuit of truth, or the best possible answer. Without conflict a team will encounter the 3rd dysfunction of a team…

3) Lack of commitment. Teams that don’t engage in open and honest conflict don’t really commit to the decisions they make – they are passive about it. With commitment everybody truly buys in because they have made a decision and are all going to stick with it. Without commitment your team will encounter…

4) Lack of Accountability. This is so important on a team because when people are committed, they have more courage to confront one another about any shortcomings there may be in behaviour and performance. If people aren’t holding each other accountable they will encounter the final dysfunction of a team…

5) Focus on Individual Results. Or more importantly the inattention to team results. It may not be the collective results of a team that someone is interested in, but their own individual results (eg their budget or their staff).

In order to focus on the collective results of a team – any team -the following is vital:

– We must trust one another

– We have to engage in healthy conflict

– We have to commit to decisions

– We hold one another accountable for those decisions

– We achieve truly collective results

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