1. Five Dysfunctions of a Team:
Symptoms, Assessment & Intervention
Megan Johnstone, PhD
Jack Kues, PhD
Rebecca Lee, PhD, RN
February 28, 2020
• Lencioni P. The Five Dysfunctions of aTeam. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass; 2002.
• Lencioni P. Overcoming the Five Dysfunctions of aTeam. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass; 2005.
3. Avoidance of
Lack of COMMITMENT
Fear of CONFLICT
The purpose of todays
introduction to this model is to
give you some insight into our
team. We should be able to
periodically assess and manage
what is happening when working
This pyramid describes the
possible dysfunctions within a
team and goes to say that if we
find our teams with any of these
dysfunctions, then we must
address it from the bottom up.
4. Results From GA ManagementTeam Assessment
Lack of Trust Fear of Conflict Lack of
5. Without a certain comfort level among team members, a
foundation of trust is impossible.
Teams without trust are reluctant to be vulnerable with one
another, they hesitate/are afraid to ask for help, and they
tend not to be honest about their abilities
As a result, members fail to recognize and tap into one
another’s skills & experiences meaning that great ideas are
not being generated and abilities not being utilized.
Team members are afraid to say they were wrong about
They try to conceal their weaknesses & mistakes
Often jump to conclusions about others’ intentions and
Dysfunction #1: Absence ofTrust
6. A team lacking in trust will be afraid to engage in healthy
conflict. Many people feel uncomfortable with engaging in
unfiltered, passionate debate about key issues.They will go
out of their way to avoid conflict.
In a work setting where team members do not openly air
their opinions, inferior decisions, back-stabbing, out-of-
meeting personal attacks will be the results.
Members are afraid to disagree, challenge and question
Members fear hurting someone’s feelings
They go behind another’s back to get things done
They set up meeting-after-a-meeting to vent
They generally play politics
Dysfunction #2: Fear of Conflict
Generating ideas at the beginning to get a
strategic project going is critical.
But what if team members can’t tell the
manager, “I don’t think your idea is very good
and here’s why…”?
7. Without conflict, it is difficult for team members to commit
to decisions. Lack of clarity and buy-in prevents team
members from making decisions they will stick to.This
means that people won’t work to their full potential, and
this can get them disgruntled.
Team often revisits discussions and decisions
There is ambiguity about direction and priorities
Members are confused about purpose and keep
discussing the same issues
Dysfunction #3: Lack of Commitment
Committed teams have a direction, know their
goals & priorities, understand the objectives
and where they are headed, learn from
mistakes and move forward.
8. When teams don’t commit to a clear plan of action, even the
most focused and driven individuals hesitate to call out their
peers on actions and behaviors that may seem
counterproductive to the overall good of the team.
And the irony of holding back on calling people out, for fear of
conflict, is that eroding performance creates more resentment
Teams miss deadlines and key deliverables
Mediocre or declining performance
One person does all the work for the team
Dysfunction #4: Avoidance of Accountability
Teams that embrace accountability respect
each other but holds one another to
standards for behavior and results, in a
We are all BUSY PEOPLE with lots of competing
demands! However, the hallmark of a successful
team is results achievement!
When everyone focuses on collective results and minimizes
individualistic behavior, everyone is accountable, and everyone
enjoys the success.
However, if a team loses sight of the need for achievement, the
business ultimately suffers.When individuals are not held
accountable, team members gravitate toward their personal
goals at the expense of the collective goals of the team.
Poorly defined goals; no shared data to track progress
Get nothing accomplished, stagnates/fails to grow.
Work on the wrong things
Lose star performers
Team members take care of themselves
Dysfunction #5: Inattention to Results
11. Agreement is the destination, debate and discussion pave the road.
If everyone is on the same page at the beginning, it’s probably not going to be a
very interesting story.
Challenge the idea, not the person.
Assume positive intent.
Express appreciation every time you feel it; the more you express it, the more you
feel it, and the more it comes back around.
12. Commitment: Take-Home
You must know where you are going before you start a trip.
Make sure our team is traveling together.
Sometimes, it may not be a lack of commitment, it may be a lack of direction.
I’d like to go quickly through the 5 dysfunctions of a teams. We are going to spend quite a bit of time talking about each one of these. But first, let’s see if your own teams have any of these problems.
The use of a pyramid to describe these dysfunctions is important. Groups must address these issues from the bottom up. The purpose of todays introduction to Lencioni’s model is to give you some insight into groups……and teams to which you belong. Specifically we want to help you be able to assess and manage what is happening when you are working with others.
Here are the scores from the assessment we took. For all scales, scores of Above 7 means that the dysfunction is probably not an issue for our team. A score of six to seven, means the dysfunction COULD be an issue for our team. A score of 3-5 means the dysfunction needs to be addressed immediately. Looking at the scores I see here, it looks like we need to do more around trust and our inattention to results. We need to watch avoidance of accountability. What does this really mean?