The first reason is that you simply do not trust each other. In “The Five Dysfunctions of a Team”, Patrick Lencioni writes that the absence of trust is the biggest reason teams do not work well together.
This is because we are not often trained to be vulnerable and to trust the people we work with. We ascribe bad motives to what others do. We snap to judgment of others. You need to build trust to make good decisions.
The second reason is a fear of conflict. We were taught in kindergarten that everyone must get along. Even if that means holding back on contrary views. If we don’t trust each other, we cannot have a good debate about options to solving problems. This hurts the team because we do not bring our best ideas to the table.
This leads to lack of commitment. Decisions that are made are not ‘bought into’ by each individual. If we don’t agree, we are free to head in different directions. That allows us to wait for the idea that we did not buy into to fail. And it hurts your company.
Next up is avoidance of accountability. We don’t trust each other, so we don’t have a healthy discussion. We walked out doing our own thing. And now, no one (especially the boss) is holding everyone’s feet to the fire.
At the top is inattention to results. The first four dysfunctions mean that we don’t need to focus on outcomes because – we never bought in to the decision in the first place.
If your organization is struggling to meet the results you expect, your team may suffer from two or more of these dysfunctions.
They can be fixed! For teams to be effective we must establish trust. Without trust we will never work well together. With trust, healthy dialogue is easier. The focus then becomes making sure everyone commits to group objectives. And then, we must be accountable to each other to accomplish these objectives.
If the executive team doesn’t work well together, how can you expect the whole company to understand where you are going? Team Building is a process that we lead many organizations through. If you would like to know more, please feel free to call.