Overcoming The Five Dysfunctions of a Team

Our teaching of Patrick Lencioni’s principles from his iconic 2002 book, The Five Dysfunctions of a Team marries Lencioni’s principles with a new Strengths-based lens that allows today’s organizations to thrive, while leaving behind behavioral problems that pull teammates apart. 

Even the term “Dysfunction” as a topic stops teams from focusing on their positive qualities at the outset. This is why we focus on unpacking the goodness of the team first, before we get into dismantling the dysfunctions.

People might be stuck in negative teaming behaviors for many reasons. We’ve been conditioned to believe that we need to understand the underlying reasons before we can mature the team. We find this perspective expends too much energy on things that have happened in the past, without the possibility of infusing the team with forgiveness. We’d rather focus more energy on your future! 

We’ve created a Strengths-based version of Lencioni’s work infused with Positive Psychology to move your teams into the desired development state. It is the only Strengths-based version in the marketplace.

The goal in our Overcoming The Five Dysfunctions of a Team development is to switch the focus of your teams from “one-upmanship” practices into fully functioning, collaborative teams. Gallup estimates that approximately 30% of every employee’s day, every day, is spent on navigating company politics. We focus our attention on helping your teams develop the acumen they need to mature. They will be able to build trust at every level, which helps them accelerate good outcomes for what they need to accomplish.

You and your team will make significant headway toward busting all of the Five Dysfunctions as you:

  • Learn to trust each other
  • Master the art of disagreement
  • Fully commit to an agreed-upon plan of action
  • Hold yourself and others accountable for tasks, agreed-upon good conflict behaviors, and achieving the team’s goals.
  • Focus on the collective results of the team

Two-Day Workshops:

We offer a 2-Day workshop, with quarterly or semi-annual “Checkups”. Some teams may need additional unwinding of behaviors before moving into other team development. The final result is that your teams learn how to diagnose and heal themselves. By doing the Checkups, the teams revisit Lencioni’s concepts and together, we focus additional learning where needed. 

Our main objective is to get your teams self-sufficient in addressing their own team problems safely as they arise, determine solutions, and then continue overcoming other challenges as they come up.

We suggest two 7.5-hour or 8-hour days. Decreasing the number of hours per day may reduce the value of your experience.

Day 1

  • Benchmark your current team development levels on each dysfunction.
  • Debrief your team on their initial assessment results.
  • Understand the underlying principles.
  • Begin dismantling misunderstandings.
  • Create more cohesiveness among members in these Learning Modules:
    • Building Trust
    • Mastering Conflict

Day 2

  • Continue to dissolve misunderstandings and create more connected teams in these Learning Modules:
    • Achieving Commitment
    • Embracing Accountability
    • Focusing on Results
  • Determine the initial Thematic Goal (the largest overarching goal) for the next 3-12 months.
  • Develop and assign appropriate metrics for the Thematic Goal, along with their Defining Objectives and Standard Operating Objectives.
  • Brainstorm the best person(s) for each task based on the review of your team’s Team Grid (if you have undertaken Gallup’s CliftonStrengths learning prior to starting your OT5DT journey)
  • Learn how to create a “Live Meeting Agenda” during the first five minutes of any meeting, and create a Scoreboard for achieving the team’s Thematic Goal.
  • Determine which three behaviors the team will focus on for the next three months of development..
  • Conduct a secondary benchmark assessment at the end of the 2-day Workshop as a learning tool to show how far your teams have advanced from Day 1. This can form the basis for the next three to six months of working together if you choose to have Team Checkups.

Ongoing Checkups:

  • Every 3 to 6 months as determined by you, we visit with your team for a ½ Day or 1-Day Workshop:

  • Determine the team’s outcomes from the previous period: What went well? What are still challenging areas?
    • Have any new problem areas crept into the team’s work together?
    • Review completion of the Thematic Goals, Defining Objectives, and Standard Operating Objectives, identifying the next Thematic Goal if the last one has been completed.
    • Refocus the team on gaining additional ground in team development; identify the next three behaviors to tackle.
    • Mark out the next directed steps for review at the next Checkup.


  • Suggested Pairings: Gallup’s CliftonStrengths or BP10 Learning prior to embarking on the Overcoming the Five Dysfunctions of a Team Learning.

Some of the Results we’ve achieved for our clients:

  • Their teams start to look for and fix behaviors among team members that detract from their collaboration and cohesiveness as a team.
  • Their teams become adept at addressing negative behaviors in a respectful and honoring manner that moves the team toward better maturity.
  • Their teams spend less time in behavioral problems and more time brainstorming processes, resolving problems, and completing tasks.
  • Their teams prioritize meetings to work on the most urgent matters first, assigning the best people to accomplish each task.
  • Their teams accomplish their overarching goals and move on to the next goal – seamlessly.
  • Their teams continue to reap additional benefits as they streamline processes, review risks, resolve problems, and embrace collective decision-making.

And all of this happens while achieving their overarching goal, with the continued result that they bring these same skills into their next teaming experience – whether in the same team or in a new one.