Group members begin the phase of "getting to know each other" and establishing common goals. People are often resistant to participation and may question whether or not they fit in with the group.
While participation and communication skills improve through this phase, people are more likely to question "authority" and challenge other ideas. The heirarchy of leadership within the group may begin to form as more dominant personalities and leadership styles emerge.
Conflict and differences need to be acknowledged as strategies for conflict resolution must be developed before a team can move forward to the "norming" phase.
Teams are highly motivated and work collaboratively and efficiently toward goals with little or no difficulty. Team members are completely aware of their purpose and what they need to do in order to "get the job done."
The first dysfunction is the absence of trust among team members. Essentially, this stems from their unwillingness to be vulnerable within the group. Team members who are not genuinely open with one another about their mistakes and weaknesses make it impossible to build a foundation for trust.
This failure to build trust is damaging because it sets the tone for the second dysfunction: fear of conflict. Teams that lack trust are incapable of engaging in unfiltered and passionate debate of ideas. Instead, they resort to veiled discussions and guarded comments.
Teams that fear Teams that engage conflict in conflict
Have boring meetings
Back channel politics and personal attacks thrive
Ignore controversial topics that are critical to team success
Fail to tap into the ideas and perspectives of team members
Waste time and energy on posturing and interpersonal risk management
A healthy conflict is a problem because it ensures the third dysfunction of a team: lack of commitment. Without having aired their opinions in the course of passionate and open debate, team members rarely, if ever, buy in and commit to decisions, though they may feign agreement during meetings.
Because of this lack of real commitment and buy-in, team members develop an avoidance of accountability, the fourth dysfunction. Without commiting to a clear plan of action, even the most focused and driven people often hesitate to call their peers on actions and behaviors that seem counterproductive to the good of the team.
When teams are not held accountable the team members tend to look out for their own interests, rather than the interests of the team. A healthy team places team results as the most important goal. When all team members place the team’s results first the team becomes results orientated.
1. They trust one another. 2. They engage in unfiltered conflict around ideas. 3. They commit to decisions and plans of action. 4. They hold one another accountable for delivering against those plans 5. They focus on the achievement of collective results.