When Lencioni says that An Absence of Trust (#1) detracts from a team, he includes the condition that team members should be ‘comfortable being vulnerable … about their weaknesses’ and other negative personal characteristics. Openness is vital (Stone, 2006). We have been asked to write personal introductions and our responses to the discussion questions shows us to others, but only in the light that we wish to be perceived (Roper, 2007).
Dysfunction #2, Fear of Conflict, is perhaps the key, in my opinion, to working together well. We all hope to become doctors, and there is the subtext that we are competing on this prestigious course. Lencioni states that great team members ‘do not hesitate to disagree with, challenge, and question one another’, but he adds this caution, ‘in the spirit of finding the best answers’. I don’t doubt that some of us some of the time have posted a response not to find ‘the best answer’ but to show off. It is still early in the course, and we haven’t yet found our feet well, so there will be some manoeuvring of expression and interaction type. But here again, honesty will help us build a team. The challenge is to do that while still displaying our intellect at the required level. The grades are important, and the fear is that pushing for the grades may hurt the team building.
I won’t go through all five. Google Books has a preview if you are interested in following up. I’ll just add one point about dysfunction #5 Inattention to Results. I seriously try to read everyone’s writing at least three times; impressionistic, detail, and for memory. If I error in recall, I ask for forgiveness.
I’ll finish by reproducing your last wonderful lines; ‘Working in groups either at work or school is no more of an option; it is a way of life. Thus, we should get it right and do it willingly.’
Roper, A. R. (2007). The Development of Online Student Skills: Successful online students share their secrets. TCC 2007 Proceedings.
Stone, N. (2006). Conceptualizing intercultural effectiveness for university teaching. Journal of Studies in International Education, 10(4), 334–356.
Lencioni, P. (2005). Overcoming the Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A Field Guide for Leaders. Wiley E-Book. Retrieved on April 21 2015 from: https://books.google.co.jp/books?id=YT4ObpbJdysC&printsec=frontcover&dq=Patrick+Lencioni,+Overcoming+the+Five+Dysfunctions+of+a+Team:+A+Field+Guide+for+Leaders,+Managers,+and+Facilitators+%28San+Francisco:+Jossey-+Bass,+2005%29.&hl=en&sa=X&ei=xY81VZW1EcTX8gW0xIGIDw&ved=0CBwQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=Patrick%20Lencioni%2C%20Overcoming%20the%20Five%20Dysfunctions%20of%20a%20Team%3A%20A%20Field%20Guide%20for%20Leaders%2C%20Managers%2C%20and%20Facilitators%20%28San%20Francisco%3A%20Jossey-%20Bass%2C%202005%29.&f=false