5 Behaviors of Great Teams

Patrick Lencioni is president of The Table Group, a management consultant firm dedicated to executive team development and organizational health consultancy. In 2002, he wrote a book entitled “The Five Dysfunctions of a Team” with over 2 million copies sold where he identifies five behaviors of a cohesive team:

Good Teams Trust One Another
Social capital runs through the bloodstream of good teams. They seamlessly trust each other on an emotional level where they can be honest about their flaws, concerns, errors and behaviors. They say what is exactly in their hearts and on their minds without filters.

Good Teams Fight Over Ideas
These kinds of teams gravitate toward conflict because they understand it is inevitable. They manage conflict in a way where it is not directed at the person but toward ideas. They feel comfortable bickering, confronting and interrogating each other around concepts that are central to the advancement of the organization.

Good Teams Make Commitments
As a result of their positive management of conflict, good teams are able to commit to their decisions even when there is not 100% agreement. They get to this position by making sure all thoughts and positions are on the table and fully vetted. This gives the team confidence that they have swept every room in the house of possible actions which gives the minority viewpoint satisfaction that despite not winning the argument, their concerns were fully heard.

Good Teams Hold Each Other’s Feet to the Fire
Once good teams make decisions, they hold each other accountable by sticking to the agreements they have made. They police themselves by not relying solely on the team leader to enforce accountability. They are player managers.

Good Teams Are About Collective Results
It is about we and not me. If one team member’s boat rises, all team members’ boats rise. They understand their individual beliefs, biases and behaviors in a way where they can separate their unique wants and desires in order to concentrate on what is good for the team.

Team interactions are vital in large companies that run the risk of employees toiling away in silence and anonymity. Tight team member relationships can be the antidote to being forgotten by executives and leaders.

Get on your path to your full potential. Stay connected to your teammates. They may be end up being your lifeline in the workplace.

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Kristeen Bullwinkle

I don’t think everyone knows that not only is there Lencioni’s excellent book, there is also a team assessment (with a facilitation kit) based on his model: The Five Behaviors of a Cohesive Team. I’ve gone through it with a team I’m on and recommend it highly. Thanks for introducing you leaders to Lencioni’s work. I also highly recommend his book, The Advantage.