Dysfunctional teams

by Elise Stevens | Futureproof Your Career Podcast

Dysfunctional teams struggle with high staff turnover, poor communication, negativity, infighting, and lack of motivation.

Team members may be afraid of conflict, scared to speak up or ask for help, and unmotivated to do anything but the bare minimum.

So, are all dysfunctional teams doomed to fail or can managers turn this around?

In this podcast, Elise Stevens speaks with leadership development expert and executive coach Kristi Royse about the power of vulnerability and productive conflict.

Points raised in this podcast:

  • Teams are prone to dysfunction because they are made up of imperfect humans.
  • Team dynamics is the most important element in the health of any organisation.
  • A team with infighting, siloed behaviour and that loses sight of shared goals is potentially dysfunctional. 
  • Patrick M. Lencioni’s five dysfunctions of a team are: lack of trust, fear of conflict, lack of commitment, avoidance of accountability and inattention to results.
  • Managers can overcome dysfunction in their teams by fostering trust, vulnerability, open communication and positive conflict.
  • Team members should feel a sense of psychological safety. They must be able to speak up, ask for help and offer ideas without being punished or ostracised.
  • Managers can develop this by asking questions, checking in with people, giving positive feedback and showing their own vulnerability.
  • Everyone communicates differently. Managers who get to know their teams will find their staff are more engaged, particularly in remote-working situations.
  • Functional teams are good at addressing conflict. Unfiltered, respectful debate will bring resolution, whereas unresolved tension is likely to bubble up in unhealthy ways.
  • Function teams have productive meetings where decisions are made quickly and team members can agree to disagree and move on.
  • Team members who feel safe and trust their manager will work harder and be more committed.

You can find Patrick M. Lencioni’s The Five Dysfunctions of a Team here.

About Kristi:

Kristi helps leaders and teams recognize and tap their full potential, develop effective communication, collaboration, and leadership skills and ultimately, achieve higher levels of performance. She is a nationally-recognised speaker and a seasoned facilitator whose unique mix of inspiration, motivation, real-world strategies and actionable steps brings measurable success.

Her focus includes facilitating executive and team retreats, helping leaders increase their charisma and impact through presentation skills training, facilitating the strategic planning process, and enhancing communication and collaboration.

As an expert in leadership development, executive excellence, effective teams, and presentation skills, Kristi has coached executives, boards and teams to success across industries, from law to tech and non-profits to start-ups for over 25 years. Clients include Frank Rimerman, Workplace from Facebook, Strava, Hopkins & Carley, Veeva, and Rodan+Fields.

Kristi has a passion for supporting women in leadership through facilitation of workshops, panels, and forums for organisations such as The CLUB of Silicon Valley’s Incubator program, Leading Women in Technology/Wilpower, Financial Women of San Francisco (FWSF), Women’s Interchange at SLAC, and the Financial Women’s Association of San Francisco, among others.

Kristi has a Bachelor of Science degree from California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo, CA. She lives in Northern California with her husband, her daughter, and Maddie, her beloved yellow lab.

You can connect with Lenka via her website or on LinkedIn.