The Five Dysfunctions of a Team Online Assessment

An online assessment from The Five Dysfunctions of a Team by Patrick Lencioni, Jossey-Bass Publishing, 2002.


In his book, The Five Dysfunctions of a Team, Patrick Lencioni describes five root causes of team dysfunction that must be solved separately.

Dysfunction #1: Absence of Trust

This occurs when team members are reluctant to be vulnerable with one another and are unwilling to admit their mistakes, weaknesses or needs for help. Without a certain comfort level among team members, a foundation of trust is impossible.

Dysfunction #2: Fear of Conflict

Teams that are lacking on trust are incapable of engaging in unfiltered, passionate debate about key issues, causing situations where team conflict can easily turn into veiled discussions and back channel comments. In a work setting where team members do not openly air their opinions, inferior decisions are the results.

Dysfunction #3: Lack of Commitment

Without conflict, it is difficult for team members to commit to decisions, creating an environment where ambiguity prevails. Lack of direction and commitment can make employees, particularly star employees, disgruntled.

Dysfunction #4: Avoidance of Accountability

When teams don’t commit to a clear plan of action, even the most focused and driven individuals hesitate to call their peers on actions and behaviors that may seem counterproductive to the overall good of the team.

Dysfunction #5: Inattention to Results

Team members naturally tend to put their own needs (ego, career development, recognition, etc.) ahead of the collective goals of the team when individuals aren’t held accountable. If a team has lost sight of the need for achievement, the business ultimately suffers.


Sourced from The 2006 Linkage Excellence in Management & Leadership Series: Building and Leading a High Performance Team, Patrick Lencioni

Patrick Lencioni (2002),  The Five Dysfunctions of a Team, Jossey-Bass, ISBN  0-7879-6075-6