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Removing the ‘Dys’ From Function
By Philip Morey
The key to overcoming the Five Dysfunctions, whether in an online or a traditional business setting, is having the right people, especially the leadership. Here are some strategies that will help a leader succeed.
Absence of Trust is the biggest issue facing a team. If the team members don’t trust each other, it leads to a Lack of Communication, which then turns into the remaining three dysfunctions. The key to having trust between team members is to… have trustworthy, responsible team members in the first place. If you’re team is full of slothful liars, all the teambuilding exercises in the world will do nothing for you.
If you do have good team members, Lack of Communication may come down to technological difficulties in an online setting. However, with a good IT department, that should be of little concerned and it remains on the leader’s shoulders to foster good communication throughout the team. The leader does this by setting an example of open, honest communication to all the members. There should also be plenty of opportunities made for communication to take place, yet not call an over abundance of meetings or flooding the correspondence channels with ‘babble’, which impedes the progress of the actual work.
A good team leader heads off Fear of Conflict with good communication and impartial judgment of the results. The leader needs to be the front runner in paying attention to the status of the project. If the leader is paying attention to the results, the good communication ensures that the rest of the team can’t fall prey to Inattention to Results.
Following the above principles, the leader will be aware of any problems in the project and have the ability to follow through with the necessary means to keep on track. Firm, consistent follow through, as well as the leader showing personal accountability to the rest of the team, will keep the rest of the team from Avoidance of Accountability.
The thing to note through all of this, is that having the right people is really the most important factor. A good leader with bad, or just the wrong, people will be no better off than a good team with poor leadership. Sadly, most failed groups actually have bad leadership AND members. In that case you can pretty much throw all these ideas out the window and have a corporate merger.