Dysfunctional Team or a High Performance Team – It’s Your Choice!

“If you can get all the people in an organisation rowing in the same direction, working as a team you could dominate any industry, in any market, against any competition, at any time.” Patrick Lencioni

Most business owners, directors, leaders and managers I work with are very keen to improve the effectiveness of their team working. Most will “buy-in” to the Patrick Lencioni quotation above, but few have the knowledge, experience or framework to achieve such a desirable outcome.
Most companies have team issues because they either operate as a Group or as a Dysfunctional Team:

  • Groups are characterised by people who meet regularly with each member informing the others about their own actions and performance. However, meetings often lack commitment, performance is mediocre and the group often lacks common goals.
  • Dysfunctional Executive Teams are characterised by a group of people “nominally” working together to achieve a common goal but they are often ineffective for reasons such as:
    • The team consists of individualists. Everyone is out for themselves, their department, or their function. Jockeying for power and passive resistance are common.
    • The team is factional. Individual team members are loyal to their faction, not to the team itself.
    • The team members avoid conflict.  Creativity and innovation suffer; mediocrity prevails.
    • The team is indecisive. Discussions are circular; there is a lack of commitment to action and a lack of accountability. For every two steps forward, the team takes one-and-a half steps back.

High performance team are a rarity because they obtain results superior to those of most executive teams. Exceptional results are achieved by a heightened level of commitment the members show towards each other and to the collective goal. For high performance teams the quality of the total output is higher than the total of the input from the team members.

If teamwork is important to the success of your business then it is likely that that their performance could be improved. To do this you have to overcome the 5 key common dysfunctions that typically get in the way of achieving truly effective teamwork:

If you want to know if your team is dysfunctional please click here to find out more and to answer a few questions that can help you decide whether you’re happy to carry on with “your choice” of team.

Answer the questions for each section. If your answers are predominantly “never”; “rarely” or “sometimes” then you should consider giving me a call to discuss what can be done to improve things:

Absence of Trust great teams trust one another on a fundamental, emotional level and are comfortable being vulnerable with each other about their weaknesses, mistakes, fears and behaviours. They get to a point where they can be completely open.


  1. Team members acknowledge their weaknesses to one another?
  2. Team members are unguarded and genuine with one another?
  3. Team members ask for help without hesitation?

Fear of Conflict – teams that trust one another are not afraid to engage in passionate dialogue around issues and decisions that are key to an organisations success. They do not hesitate to disagree with, challenge and question one another all in the spirit of finding the best answers, discovering the truth and making the best decision.


  1. Team members are passionate and unguarded in their discussions of issues?
  2. Team meetings are interesting and compelling (not boring)?
  3. Team members voice their opinions even at the risk of causing disagreement?

Lack of Commitment
– teams that engaged in unfiltered conflict are able to achieve genuine buy-in around important decisions even when various members initially disagree. That’s because they ensure that all opinions and ideas are put on the table and considered, giving confidence that no stone has been left unturned.


  1. Team members end discussions with clear specific resolutions and calls to action?
  2. The team is aligned around common objectives?
  3. Team members support group decisions even if they initially disagreed?

 Avoidance of Accountability teams that commit to decisions and standards of performance do not hesitate to hold one another to account for adhering to those decisions and standards. What is more, they don’t rely on the team leader as the primary source of accountability they go directly to their peers.


  1. Team members point out one another’s unproductive behaviours?
  2. Team members question one another about their current approaches and methods?
  3. Team members consistently follow through on promises and commitments?

Inattention to Results – teams that trust one another, engage in conflict, commit to decisions, and hold one another accountable are very likely to set aside their individual needs and agendas and focus on what is best for the team. They do not give in to the temptations to place their departments, careers and aspirations or ego-driven status ahead of the collective results that DEFINE a team

  1. The team has a reputation for high performance?
  2. Team members willingly make sacrifices in their areas for the good of the team?
  3. Team members value collective success more than individual achievement?

If you’d like to know more about how I can help you “Dare to be….a team “ in an environment where there is no finger pointing and will reinforce your self-sufficiency and independence rather than challenge it, then contact me today for a FREE taster session

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