The truth about dysfunctional teams – PART 1

PART 1 Why does the “dream” team become dysfunctional?

The idea of ​​organizing people into teams to create a product or provide a service seems pretty simple. What happens in practice that makes the implementation of this idea complicated?

We often see the promotion of successful teams, and after a while, that team falls apart. This applies not only to business teams but also to all others – musicians, sportsmen, friendship. The famous author Patrick Lencioni identified five team dysfunctions and presented them in the form of a pyramid:




1) Absence of trust is the basis of any team’s poor functioning. Mistrust can occur in any organization, at any time. What is worrying is the trend of falling trust, according to a global survey by Edelmans Trust Barometer, because more than 63% of respondents in 2022 believe that business leaders deliberately mislead people.

2) Fear of conflict arises due to a lack of trust and because the other party’s bad intentions are assumed. Controversial topics are skillfully avoided at meetings and all controversial situations and mistakes that could cause conflict are kept silent. In such an environment, employees care more about corporate policy and how to protect their positions than how to solve a business problem.

3) Lack of commitment is expressed when teams avoid conflicts, give up the constructive exchange of ideas and enter a phase of disinterest. According to the Gallup Institute “, only 21% of employees are “engaged” at work, because they do not feel appreciated enough. The work is then “done” and executed according to the superior’s instructions.

4) Avoidance of responsibility is characteristic of employees who do not see the meaning of their work, are not motivated, and then move along the line of least resistance, withdraw and protect their position by trying to transfer responsibility to other team members. This slows down the entire work process and reduces productivity.

5) Inattention to results occurs when teams do not have a clear vision of a common goal, lose focus, and cannot set the right priorities. Then, team members become stagnant, distracted, frustrated, and introverted. Sectoral “silos” are created and intersectoral communication is reduced, and transparency becomes selective. As a justification for unrealized results, excuses are invented or other sectors are blamed.