The 5 Dysfunctions Of A Team

Author of Book : Patrick Lencioni

In your daily work – as an employee or business owner, do you work as a lone ranger or as a member of a team?

Most likely you are a leader or member of a team!

Next question : Do you find that many a times, getting the team to work coherently can often be a challenge. There seems to be dysfunctions that you cannot get a handle on. So, what’s up?

For myself, this question puzzles and intrigues me towards better understanding of how to be a better team leader.

Recently I sat in a Leadership Training session, in all place, my church, Broadway Church, Vancouver, viewing a video from The Global Leadership Summit hosted by Willow Creek church !

What I learn fascinates me in that it somewhat reveals some of the answers I was looking for and also want to improve in my leadership skill of team building.

So, here goes!

Patrick emphasizes that there are 5 dysfunctions of a team that are also inter-linked, with one leading to the other, culminating to the lack of results of the entire group.



The very foundation of the team is TRUST – vulnerability based Trust.

The role of the leader is to foster this trust, creating an environment that team members can say: “I’m bad at this”, “I’m sorry”, “I need your help”.

Building trust requires vulnerability, takes courage and cannot be faked.


An absense of Trust leads to Fear of Conflict. Here we are talking about ideological and but personal issues. Trust creates a safe environment not to treat conflict at personal level.

Take for example, in meetings, conflicts are often times helpful and necessary to iron out different approaches, not just rubber stamping prior decision by the ‘boss’.

If it is something that matters, tension during meeting SHOULD matter.

In fact, we cannot afford NOT to hear conflicts in our organization. If the team matters, we should be passionate enought to sort out conflicts in a healthy manner.

We are to be ‘miner of conflict’ and often saying ‘great you disagree’ instead of burying the disagreement and conflict which will manifest in destructive ways.


Humans want to have their views considered – not necessarily adhered, agreed to. That’s why conflict can be a critical and necessary process to sort out these different opinions in a constructive way.

The crucial purpose is to ‘Agree on what we agree on’ – or hold your peace! It drives commitment and cascading commitment. The foundation of consistency on what is agreed becomes a ‘rumour killer’, setting the direction of the team on an unified course.


Avoidance of accountability arises out of lack of commitment. It requires 100% commitment buy-in. Holding people accountable is perhaps one of the unpleasant and harder to do action for peer-to-peer accountability.

It requires courage to stick to this role of holding members accountable. Daring to enter the Danger Zone is the hallmark of good Team Leader. Tell your team members that you are bad at this but have to do it anyway and are learning in the process. Strive to be comfortable. Not holding each other accountable is actually selfish in not getting others be better.


The team exists for certain purpose and its measure of success (not necessary in terms of money) determines its sustainability. Hence the team leaders and members has to be result focused as their responsibility towards the team.

Make goals publicly known within the team. Everyone can then be on the same page and be accountable on the same footing.


This topic of 5 Dysfunctions Of A Team by Patrick Lencioni has benefited me. Write over if this benefits you as well 🙂

To Your Visions and Dreams

Tony n Annette Chia

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