Five Dysfunctions of a Team

Patrick Lencioni states that five key areas define dysfunction within a productive team. They are:

  1. Absence of Trust—unwilling to be vulnerable within a group.
  2. Fear of Conflict—seeking artificial harmony over constructive passionate debate.
  3. Lack of Commitment—feigning buy-in for group decisions creates ambiguity throughout the organization.
  4. Unwillingness to Hold Others Accountable—ducking responsibility to call peers on counterproductive behavior which sets low standards.
  5. Inattention to Results—focusing on personal success, status and ego before team success.


When you look at your team, do any of those areas resonate with you? What can you do to ensure that the team has a

healthy construction of trust, constructive criticism, commitment to the cause,

diligence to accountability, and a team results mindset?


TRUST once broken is hard to mend. Is this why it is so difficult to trust others by allowing yourself to be vulnerable

within your organization, your department, your team? What can you do today to instill trust in others so that

every individual is able to express themselves fully?


CONFLICT is often seen in the negative. Conflict sounds like something to avoid at all costs.

And yet, it is within conflict that we must work on resolution. We are able to view things outside of our norm.

It is the difference between criticism and critique.

Individual commitment to a group effort — that is what makes a team work, a company work, a society work, a civilization work.” Vince Lombardi


LACK OF COMMITMENT is a crucial piece to individual or corporate success.

When a person is not “all in”, that individual may not express those thoughts or feelings due to: lack of trust or fear of conflict.

It is up to the leaders of the team or others on the team to ensure that everyone is committed to the project at hand.



When it becomes apparent that an individual is not committed to the team or the project,

or is constantly a source of conflict that is not appropriate to further dialogue,

that person’s attitude and demeanor must be addressed.

Holding others accountable for their words and actions ensure that everyone feels they

are working on a level playing field. Allowing such actions to not be addressed may

cause other individuals on the team to feel an absence of trust and commitment.



The word team does not have the letter “i” in it. While there may be those in charge of various areas,

the team that will achieve most is the one with the least hIerarchy imposed. In those cases,

a lattice structure where there are connective hubs serve the team best.

Results come about as a result of the team as a whole. This is important to remember.


Keep your Team Functioning by instilling these components in yourself and your team.

  • Build Trust
  • Apply Constructive Commentary
  • Commend Commitment.
  • Hold Individuals Accountable.
  • Focus on Relevant Results.


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