The Missing Ingredient of Dysfunctional Teams

Teamwork Cirrus Business Group Photo

Think you need to take your management team out to do some team building activities to get them working together? More than likely the problem goes much deeper than that. While it is good for teams to spend time doing non-work related activities together, it all comes back to this one thing. If your team has it, then maybe they are just out of sync and need some time together to recalibrate. If not, then you better start here.

Trust. Do the members of your team trust one another? I’m not talking about the kumbaya, let’s all hold hands and love one another trust. I’m talking about a true understanding that the team members have one another’s best interest at heart and that there are no protected territories or false fronts necessary. This is a trust, as Patrick Lencioni puts it, that is a willingness to be vulnerable with one another.

In 5 Dysfunctions of a Team, Lencioni writes that trust is the foundation of effective teams. Without a foundation of trust, silos get built, hidden agendas and insecurities prevail, and the organization never realizes the collective synergy of the leadership team all, collectively moving as a unit. I picture the coordination required in an Olympic rowing team.

That kind of coordination does not happen overnight. It requires intentionality, consistency, and persistence.

So, if you feel like your team is not quite firing on all cylinders it could very well be a trust issue. If so, take a look at yourself. What are you doing that might be contributing to the lack of trust within your team? Then, make the investment of time and resources to fix it. Without trust, everything else if futile.

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