Team development is an ongoing challenge as the team dynamics shift over time in response to external pressures, internal changes and the natural turnover of key people. There are however, five key elements that you can keep an eye on to get a general sense of how your team are doing.

That is thanks to Patrick Lencioni’s simple model in his book “Five Dysfunctions of a Team”. He asserts that the five main problems teams face are: absence of trust, fear of conflict, lack of commitment, avoidance of accountability, and inattention to results.

Simply put:

  • Lack of Trust – without a strong basis of trust within a team, people keep to themselves and therefore don’t speak up.
  • Fear of Conflict – If we don’t feel safe to speak up, we miss out on healthy conflict and debate which limits our ability to find solutions to problems, to address what’s really going on and even to innovate beyond what’s right in front of us.
  • Lack of Commitment – if we don’t debate in a blame free, constructive manner, we don’t feel part of the decisions that are being made which leads to a lack of commitment.
  • Avoidance of Accountability – if we’re not committed, we lack accountability to ourselves and others.
  • Inattention to Results – if we’re not accountable, we’re not achieving, which shows up clearly in a lack of team results where we’re all seemingly busy, but not kicking goals.

At Team Building with Purpose, we’re big Lencioni fans and always keep his work in mind while working with and developing teams. We’ve turned the dysfunctions on their head and in our sessions are looking to foster the “5 Superpowers of a United Team”. In every half day event, our job is to increase:

  1. Trust – we quickly build trust with the team to create an environment conducive to people feeling safe to be vulnerable enough to share personal stories about sensitive topics such as domestic and family violence, homelessness, period poverty and so on. This helps team members start to look at each other like fellow human beings, not just colleagues.
  2. Healthy Conflict – we encourage healthy debate and differences of opinion about issues in a non-judgemental, supportive way. Through this process, team members learn to give up needing to be “right” and appreciate that diversity in thinking styles is what makes a great team.
  3. Commitment – through storytelling and personal reflection, we stir up an emotional connection to our charity partners and a commitment to want to help overcome social issues. This connection to a higher purpose unites teams towards a common goal.
  4. Accountability – we ask what individuals, teams and organisations can commit to doing outside of our event that will have a positive effect on society, improving the lives of others day-to-day. These personal and public commitments change thinking and behaviours on a micro level which have a much bigger ripple effect long-term.
  5. Results – we produce tangible goods for our charity partners, give them 50% of our net profit and provide a launch pad to fantastic corporate partnership opportunities. Participants of our sessions know that their efforts have made a difference to their team, the charity and to people in need.