Sunday, May 18, 2014

Book Review: Five Dysfunctions of a Team

The Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A Leadership FableThe Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A Leadership Fable by Patrick Lencioni

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I use a lot of books in my consulting practice... popular works I think will connect with whatever group or individual professional I am working with.  Over the years, I have turned to Patrick Lencioni's The Five Dysfunctions of a Team over and over again.  The concepts are quick to grasp and hugely familiar to just about anyone who has ever had to work with others to accomplish an objective.  We can all recognize ourselves in the fable's characters, and then learn some strategies and tactics for overcoming the problems we have created together.

Note that I am not crazy about the term "dysfunction."  It can feel judgey to people and it usually helps to show clients you are on their side when you are trying to help them.  Sometimes, I recast the "dysfunctions" as "characteristics of a high-functioning team" - High degree of trust, Ability to disagree with each other, etc.  Still, I always give credit to the authors whose work I use and Lencioni called it Dysfunction so dysfunction it is. 

If you can't get your colleagues to read the book (it'll take all of two hours), then draw them the pyramid at your next opportunity.  If just one lightbulb clicks on, you'll be ahead of where you were. You can also use a copy of the two-page summary I have posted here.

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