24 Hour Helpline +27 (0)76 509 4011

24 Hour Helpline +27 (0)76 509 4011






Corporate Care

The 5 Dysfunction of a Team

The 5 Dysfunction of a Team

The 5 Dysfunction of a Team


The Workplace is made up by a group of imperfect human beings. This inevitably leads to the notion that all teams are potentially dysfunctional, affecting productivity and psychological wellbeing. Luckily, dysfunction can be overcome by creating functional, strong and cohesive teams, it just often requires some level of guidance, courage and discipline.

Having a functional team is especially critical at the top of an organisation as the executive and managing team will set the atmosphere for how employees will work with one another. Some other benefits that also come into play when a team is functional, is solid teams can discuss topics openly and with less judgement, which leads to problems being addressed and resolved. Functional teams make better decisions with less mistakes, have stronger relationships that boosts productivity and minimises distraction and frustration. Functional teams retains high quality employees as a unified workplace creates a foundation for creativity, resilience and perseverance.

Mondia Corporate Care uses the “5 Dysfunctions of a Team”, a well-known model developed by Patrick Lencioni. Many leaders refer to this model to obtain results within their organisation. Mondia Corporate Care follows a researched theoretical framework, but most importantly, it is combined with the power of experiential learning (applying the theory practically to ensure skills development)

Overview of the 5 Dysfunctions of a Team:

This model identifies 5 levels of dysfunction, and they follow on each other, and like Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, each level needs to be addressed before moving on to the next problematic level.

  1. Absence of Trust: Trust is based on the idea that people who aren’t afraid to admit the truth about themselves are not going to engage in the kind of political behavior that wastes time and energy, and more important, makes the accomplishment of results an unlikely scenario.
  2. Fear of conflict: Team members do not feel safe expressing their opinions and ideas, leading to a lack of healthy debate and decision-making. The full value of a carefully appointed employee is not fully extracted.
  3. Lack of commitment: Team members are not fully invested in the team’s decisions, leading to passivity and a lack of follow-through on action items.
  4. Avoidance of accountability: Team members are not held responsible for their actions and do not hold each other accountable for their commitments. This may transform the company into a work culture of idleness.
  5. Inattention to results: The team is more focused on personal success, status and comfort than the team’s success as a whole.

These dysfunctions are replaced by the following goals:

  1. Absence of trust – trust is built, the main building block of the pyramid, as trust is the foundation of teamwork and investment beyond your own self-preservation.
  2. Fear of conflict – engage in unfiltered, constructive conflict to extract ideas that contribute towards company success.
  3. Lack of commitment – commit to action by achieving clarity and action orientated buy-in
  4. Avoidance of accountability – hold each other accountable to deliver on plans and maintain behavioural norms.
  5. Inattention to results – focus on achieving collective team results