The Five ESSENTIAL Functions of a Great Team

The Five ESSENTIAL Functions of a Great Team
Source: Model adapted from Patrick Lencioni, The Five Dysfunctions of a Team

A quick overview of the Team Model and what gets in the way?


As difficult as teamwork can be to achieve, it is not complicated. The true measure of a team is that it accomplishes the results that it sets out to achieve.  To do that on a consistent, ongoing basis, a team must develop the five essential functions of a team listed here by embodying the behaviours described for each one.

#1: Trust:  Members of great teams trust one another at a fundamental level, and they are comfortable being vulnerable with each other about their weaknesses, mistakes, fears, and behaviours.  They get to a point where they can be completely open with one another, without filters.  This is essential to enable teams to….

#2: Manage Conflict:   Teams that trust one another are not afraid to engage in robust dialogue around issues and decisions that are key to the organisation’s success.  They do not hesitate to disagree with, challenge, and question one another, all in the spirit of finding the best answers and making great decisions.  This is essential to enable teams to achieve a high level of…….

#3: Commitment:   Teams that engage in unfiltered conflict are able to achieve genuine buy-in around important decisions, even when various members of the team initially disagree.  That’s because they ensure that all opinions and ideas are put on the table and considered, giving confidence to team members that no stone has been left unturned.  This is critical to hold each other…………

#4:  Accountability:   Teams that commit to decisions and standards of performance do not hesitate to hold one another accountable for adhering to those decisions and standards.  What is more, they don’t rely on the team leader as the primary source of accountability; they go directly to their peers.  This matters because by doing this the team achieves……….

#5:  Results:  Teams that trust one another, engage in conflict, commit to decisions, and hold one another accountable are very likely to set aside their individual needs and agendas and focus almost exclusively on what is best for the team.  They do not give in to the temptation to place their departments, career aspirations, or ego-driven status ahead of the collective results that define team success.

Be a Great Team 

Therefore a healthy team is built on a commitment to deliver results and each person on the team is ready to be part of a network of accountability for those results. Knowing that they are accountable, they commit to the decisions made by the team. That commitment is the bi-product of healthy, vigorous debate and conflict.  Constructive conflict comes as a result of an environment of trust, openness and confidence.





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