As promised, here is a little insight about my previous readings. Today, Lencioni.

The Five Dysfunctions of a Team by Patrick Lencioni
I loved this book! I’ve been wanting to read Lencioni for quite a while now, but wasn’t sure what to expect in the light vs. heavy reading department. I was very pleased with how easy and simple it was to understand. When books are written for business leaders I tend to feel a little “out of my league”, but that was so not the case with Lencioni. This book is based on 5 dysfunctions in how we related with one another as we work in teams. He uses a fable to show how this relates to real life, but the coolest part of it was that the fable was set at a Tech company here in the Silicon Valley (apparently Lencioni lives nearby). Even though it was fiction, it was cool to read about what could be a similar real life experience in 1 of the hundreds of tech companies all around us here in the valley.

The 5 Dysfunctions
Absence of Trust
Fear of Conflict
Lack of Commitment
Avoidance of Accountability
Inattention to Results

These 5 dysfunctions are displayed in the form of a pyramid (with absence of trust being at the bottom) and the rest building on top of one another. If you are looking around and not liking the results of your team/organization, or whatever- then there is likely some underlying issues as to why your not getting them. It can be easy to overlook the results and justify the reasons for them (someone else has more people, money, skills, or experience) but, if we are working together, toward a common goal, then we could easily improve our results just by focusing on our team skills.

I see the “fear of conflict” as a huge one for many people. We’ve been conditioned to think that conflict (of any kind) is unhealthy, but it’s not! Look at how much conflict Jesus was involved in while on this earth? The conflict he brought out is essentially what nailed him to the cross. We live in a society that is afraid to point out weaknesses or flaws. I have a really hard time saying something I know will cause a conflict. But, as a team member, then it’s to the best interest of the team to deal with conflict in a healthy way. In the book, there is a line that I thought was quite funny. The CEO talking to her employees about this dysfunction said, “Let me assure you that from now on, every staff meeting we have will be loaded with conflict.” The best teams are not the ones in perfect harmony, they are the ones who can deal with conflict well.

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