Nowadays, it is very important to be able to lead a team. The book The Five Dysfunctions of a Team by Patrick Lencioni is the best material that can help one to solve the different problems related to human relationships and team work. This paper discusses the most important principles I have learned from reading that book.
The book tells about five dysfunctions of a team. First of all, I would like to tell about the absence of trust. Personally, I think that confidence is the foundation of any relationship. If the members of a team do not trust each other, their work will not be productive. The author tells about the type of trust that includes the capacity of group members to show their weaknesses, being sensitive and open with one another. Obviously, it is hard, but if you want to be the part of a team, you have to be confident and open-hearted with your colleagues. The absence of trust is just a waste of time and energy because people try to defend themselves instead of asking for help or assisting other people. Lencioni (2002) says, “…teamwork begins by building confidence”, and I agree with him. He says that leaders have to show the example of trust and sensitivity to lead their team. So, I think that these suggestions are very useful for leaders because they can help them to establish the good relationship with the staff.
Other dysfunction that the book tells about is the fear of conflict. This problem is very common because people like to wear masks. They try to be nice to everyone, but it is a large mistake. Each person has the right to express their own thoughts, and they should use it. Conflict is an integral part of the teamwork. The members of the group have to feel free to say everything they want because arguing is very important for team and leaders. The author assumes that people have to achieve the harmony through the issues, but not through the fear of conflict. Managers have to be more attentive to the people’s thoughts because only in this case the teamwork can be productive and healthy.
Also, I would like to tell about my own experience in this area. I have participated in the conference that was related to the health recently. We had to prepare a plan of the environmental actions. It was a good experience for me because our teamwork was very harmonious. Our leader was really attentive to our thoughts. We were arguing the whole time, but that conflict helped us to listen to everyone and to make the decisions, focusing on different proposals and opinions.
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Another dysfunction, which is a large problem for leaders, is the lack of commitment. Commitment is a function of brightness. When people are working in the team, they need to feel the support from other members. In my opinion, it is a component that makes the teamwork efficient. Lencioni (2002) says, “When people do not express their opinions, they will not really get on board”. The members of the group need to feel the countenance from the leaders and from their colleagues. Only in that case their work will bring good results.
The striking example of such a support is presented in the book. The author reminds about the horrible events of September, 2001. The men and women were rescued from the fire due to their teamwork. Those people worked together; they were able to make quick decisions. They had only one end in mind: protecting the lives and liberties of others (Lencioni, 2002). I think that the availability of commitments is a very considerable component of the teamwork because leaders and members of the group can be confident of their own abilities and in colleagues’ assistance and support.
The next problem that is common in the teams is the avoidance of responsibility. If leaders want to lead the team, they should understand that people will never become accountable if they are interested only in their own results. Ambiguity is the threat of the good team relationships. Leaders have to make people responsible by their actions, by the results of the whole team and by each other. Lencioni tells his fable about Kathryn, who becomes the leader of the company, focusing on her decisions and actions. The woman is very clever and she is willing to be responsible for her team. She is willing to spend much time with her colleagues to make them accountable as well.
I also have some experience in being responsible for my colleagues. At the conference that is mentioned above, it has been decided to accompany a few actions, and I was designated responsible for one of them. At first, it was hard for me to make my colleagues accountable for their work, but all of us were interested in results, so we decided to take the responsibility for that action and do our best to get the best results.
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The last dysfunction of the team is the inattention to results. Leaders have to make the team results clear for all to see. If the team wants to improve its work, it has to analyze the results because they help to understand the pros and cons of team’s actions. It is the accountability of the leader to make his/her colleagues focus on results. Kathryn, the main personage of the book, understands it. She organizes the different meetings that help to analyze the teamwork and find the new productive decisions.
In conclusion, the book The Five Dysfunctions of the Team by Patrick Lencioni tells about five problems that teams have to deal with if they want to make the best results. All of those five components are very important for leaders, and it is the responsibility of the leader to make his/her team productive and healthy.
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