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What Are Five Dysfunctions Of A Team?

30 second summary:

Unlocking potential and individual contribution in a team context attracts, engages, motivates, inspires, energises and retains talent - but it can be challenging, and trust as a starting point is key.

This article introduces 5 potential dysfunctions that high-performing teams address well and which apply across all organisations where teamwork exists.

We know that unlocking people’s potential and contribution is not a cliché but the key to business success - to attract, engage, motivate, inspire, energise and retain talent.

So how do we provide for this in a post-truth workplace where trust is at an all-time low?

How do we connect with our people in a manner that builds trust and enables them to add unique and as yet untapped value?

5 consistent best practices of global and high-performing organisations  –  from client engagements:

  • Address what individuals need. Within any team, needs differ. The newest member needs to position and establish who they are, and add value at a new level in the organisation. The longest-serving member needs to sharpen their contribution, and add fresh value in their known context. Strong teams provide space for all members to fulfil individual needs.
  • Consider what individuals value. Within high-performing teams, all members want to hit targets. Why they want to do so, their motives/values, differs. Where one places importance on adding societal value (altruistic), another seeks to earn their bonus (material gain), yet another seek promotion (power). Strong leaders motivate individuals AND build the spirit of the team.
  • Provide opportunities for fresh success. As individuals engage in learning journeys, gain new skills and begin applying them in the workplace, testing new and different approaches and achieving new levels of success, expectations grow of what they can achieve. Motivation to do more often spreads to others. Strong learning environments break glass walls and glass ceilings.
  • Respect and leverage cultural diversity. Culture and motivation is largely shaped by education and national upbringing. Think of the appetite for risk v the preference for security. Not everyone is motivated or works well with ambiguity and constant change. Not everyone likes or works well in predictable and stable environments. Strong organisations recruit people who fit well into their culture AND some diverse folk to spark creativity, innovation and growth.
  • Cater for generational differences. Our brains are wired by our experiences. Fun in the workplace and autonomy matter greatly to those who entered the workplace in the last 7-10 years (‘Generation Y’ and ‘Millennials’). As digital natives, they require intense variety, used as they are to instant gratification, non-stop virtual exchanges, quick-wins and fast-paced video games. Not so, or at least not necessarily, for those who have been in the workplace 10 years or more. Strong workplaces provide contexts where multiple generations can flourish.

 It pays to remember the platinum rule:do unto others as they would have done unto them”.   Cora Lynn Heimer Rathbone is a trusted business adviser and a Partner at Rathbone Results

020 8798 0175; info@rathboneresults.com.

Cora Lynn Heimer Rathbone

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