How Leaders Can Improve Team Performance

My first read of the New Year was an interesting one which I thought I’d share as it offers some interesting insights into high performing teams.

Patrick Lencioni, in his book The 5 Dysfunctions of a Team (Jossey-Bass 2002) offers his ideas in the form of an easily readable fable.

In summary, his 5 dysfunctions are:

1. An absence of Trust leading to individual invulnerability

2. A fear of conflict creating the appearance of artificial harmony

3. Lack of team commitment creating ambiguity

4. Avoidance of accountability leading to low standards

5. Inattention to results caused by the effects of status and ego

High performing teams have found a way to recognise these dysfunctions and counteract them with candour and commitment to the team above personal needs.

In dealing with trust he argues that the team should share individual vulnerabilities.  Not to be afraid of conflict and create the necessary conflict events to drive out better solutions. Once the team has argued and identified the best possible action, then the entire team must commit and get behind the cabinet decision. The team should set high expectations for themselves and the team and be prepared to stand up and be counted.  Results should always be the focus above any status or ego needs.

It is interesting that in any training and development or coaching agreements, the focus is often on the functional area rather than the interactions between functions, this is where team coaching can play an important role and is the topic I will be exploring throughout the year.

Be great to hear any thoughts on this or other leadership topics