Title: The Five Dysfunctions of a Team
Author: Patrick Lencioni
Publishing Info: San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2002
Book review: I had to re-read this book for work. I’m fortunate enough that my employer allows time for professional development. My co-worker and I will be discussing this book with our team. The book is really easy to read and most people could read this in one sitting. Lencioni did a great job at intertwining storytelling with practical business advice. His ability to make this more than a “textbook” is half of why I enjoyed reading it both times and feel confident that my team will enjoy the book.
The basic premise is allowing teams, managers or both to see the various stages and aspects that cause a team to perform in a dysfunctional manner. The five cited areas of dysfunction are:
- Absence of Trust
- Fear of Conflict
- Lack of Committment
- Avoidance of Accountability
- Inattention to Results
Luckily there are remedies for all of these dysfunctions. Lencioni is able to show the strengths and stretches of working in an environment that has one or more of these dysfunctional components. There are also a great deal of online resources to compliment this book.
I would encourage at the very basic level for all managers and supervisors to read this book. If nothing else it may clue you in to why your team behaves in a certain way and how you can help remedy their pitfalls. A few years ago I was a new manager and wish I had read this book so that I could identify the dysfunctions happening right in front of me. At the very least I can now relate to this book and I am able to provide specific examples of each dysfunction, from what I have witnessed.
I really think it should be a requirement for a new team to discuss these dysfunctions. During discussion the team can and should come up with a game plan for avoiding these dysfunction but also a plan for addressing the dysfunctions if they do occur. While I would love if team building was organic and long-term, the reality (in my field) is that teams need to form quickly in order to be effective due to the short employment time frame. Most of my employees are only on staff for 1-3 years so we don’t have the luxury of forming a team over years; they have to form within weeks. The Five Dysfunction of a Team will help you accelerate the team formation in an honest and upfront manner.
Tea review: Instead of wine I drank tea. I was reading while at work and wine is a definite no-no. The tea that I had is Celestial Seasonings Lemon Zinger Herbal Tea. It is delicious. Be warned – The tea is incredibly tart. If tart and sour are not your thing you may not care for this tea. I think that some honey with it would have been divine. Being summer time the lemon gave it a fresh appeal. I think that this tea would be good served over ice as well. I will have to try the iced version soon.