April 9: Five Dysfunctions of a Team

A look at five dysfunctions common to teams.

Source: Patrick Lencioni
Published: April 2002

Five Dysfunctions of a Team

Dysfunction is unhealthy and unproductive behavior in a group. Patrick Lencioni, author and pioneer of the organizational health movement, identified five predictable dysfunctions common to teams.

Dysfunction & Description

1. Absence of trust: Team not honest or comfortable together.

2. Fear of conflict: Miscommunication from lack of discussion.

3. Lack of commitment: Passive & detached team.

4. Avoidance of accountability: Poor work performance.

5. Inattention to results: Goals centered on self, not team.


Patrick sums up how to overcome the five dysfunctions:

“If we’re going to focus on the collective results of the team, we have to trust one another, we have to engage in healthy conflict, we have to commit to decisions, hold one another accountable for those, and achieve true collective results.”


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