The Five Behaviors™ Model for Teams Foundation & Science
The Five Behaviors™ assessment program is derived from Patrick Lencioni’s book, The Five Dysfunctions of a Team. Lencioni’s research identified five specific behaviors that, when optimized, produce a team that operates with maximum efficiency and effectiveness.
These behaviors are Trust, Conflict, Commitment, Accountability, and Results, and they work together in a mutually reinforcing manner. By evaluating a team’s behavior in each of these areas, the assessment and facilitated program provide valuable insights into the team’s current cohesion and suggestions for improvement.
Trust forms the foundation of the team dynamic. Without trust, it becomes exceedingly difficult to achieve overall cohesiveness and make meaningful progress. Vulnerability-based trust, which involves the willingness to reveal one’s weaknesses, plays a crucial role in establishing the necessary relationships that enable teams to navigate and thrive amidst both routine and exceptional challenges they encounter.
Conflict is often viewed as risky within a team due to its potential to create negative emotions. However, when a team has established trust among its members, it provides a sense of security that allows for honesty and courage. In such an environment, conflict becomes constructive. In fact, conflict plays a crucial role in ensuring that all perspectives and facets of an issue are thoroughly examined, understood, and considered. Teams that lack conflict tend to disregard valuable feedback, which can result in subpar decision-making.
Obtaining commitment from team members is distinct from achieving consensus. Patrick Lencioni argues that consensus involves making compromises, which may not result in the best outcome. Commitment, on the other hand, arises from having a clear sense of purpose. For instance, when presented with a problem that has multiple potential solutions, the team employs trust and constructive conflict to select a single idea to pursue. Although only one idea is chosen, each team member comprehends why that idea was selected and supports it both within and outside the team.
Accountability is often the most challenging behavior for a team to develop effectively. In fact, many teams will not achieve the stage where each member holds all others accountable consistently. However, having high scores in the previous behaviors can simplify the process of establishing accountability. With time, accountability can become an ingrained aspect of a team’s overall dynamic.
The purpose of a team is to accomplish its objectives. If the preceding behaviors are functioning optimally, every team member will be dedicated to achieving the team’s goal. The team objective surpasses each individual’s personal goals, and each member feels gratified by contributing to the team’s success.
Foundation & Science of The Five Behaviors™
Mastering the five behaviors that create team cohesion is a challenging task. As teams undergo changes, such as new members, leaders, or goals, they may cycle through different behaviors. In some cases, changes may necessitate the team to start anew and rebuild trust, thus working through each behavior again.
Numerous teams have studied Lencioni’s model, and The Five Behaviors™ assessments can assist teams in applying this model to their particular circumstances. A cohesive team not only achieves more for the organization, but it is also more enjoyable to be a part of. The effort required to build the most cohesive team possible is undoubtedly worthwhile.