There are a multitude of reasons that teams have trouble reaching the level of high performance – anytime a group of humans attempt to work together, there will be some bumps along the road. Unfortunately, some teams seem to experience more of these obstacles than others. There is still hope!

In Patrick Lencioni’s The Five Dysfunctions of a Team, he identifies reasons that teams do not operate at their full potential. They are: an absence of trust; fear of conflict; lack of commitment; avoidance of accountability; and inattention to results. Delving deeper into what is underneath all of these reasons, we find that perceptions and mindset are a root cause that must be addressed before any of the team behaviors can be changed.

How each individual sees themselves, their team mates, the leader, the organization, and the mission deeply impacts the success of the team. The key to avoiding dysfunction is to take time when forming the team to build a solid foundation – this includes sharing perspectives, identifying what strengths and skills each individual brings to the team, and coming to a consensus on the importance of the mission and each team member’s ownership of it. Making this initial investment in the team does take time and immense effort; however, it is incomparable to the amount of time, effort, and money it will save in the long term.