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Welcome to The JoyPowered® Workspace Podcast, where we talk about embracing joy in the workplace. I’m JoDee Curtis, owner of Purple Ink, an HR consulting firm, and with me is my friend and co-host Susan White, a national HR consultant.
Our topic today is Patrick Lencioni’s five behaviors of a cohesive team. This is based on Patrick Lencioni’s book, “The Five Dysfunctions of a Team.” Lencioni is one of my favorite authors and speakers and overall people leader guru. Most all of his books are written as fables, so if you are not a fan of business books but are trying to read more, his are great ones to start with. Some of my other favorites are “Getting Naked,” “Death by Meeting,” and “The Ideal Team Player,” but he has 12 total. In the book “Five Dysfunctions of a Team,” Lencioni reveals the five dysfunctions that go to the very heart of why teams, even the best ones, often struggle. He outlines a powerful model and actionable steps that can be used to overcome these common hurdles and build a cohesive team. The five dysfunctions, by the way, are absence of trust, fear of conflict, lack of commitment, avoidance of accountability, and inattention to results.
Our expert today is Laura Hayes. Laura is a certified coach on the five behaviors of a cohesive team. She is also a certified Gallup StrengthsFinder coach, an Enneagram coach, and she has a master’s degree from Butler University. Laura is the Director of MAVPAK Leadership. Managers want unified teams that work hard and communicate openly, but they don’t know how to provide the support their employees need to develop unified, productive teams. Laura has spent the last four years writing the curriculum and designing classes just to address those unique challenges specifically. In the warehousing industry, Laura’s passion is to use what is great about each person individually to help make the whole team stronger and achieve collective goals.
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Laura, why is Lencioni’s book called “The Five Dysfunctions of a Cohesive Team,” but the training program is called “The Five Behaviors of a Cohesive Team?”
So the book is called “The Five Dysfunctions of a Team,” because he wanted to get people’s attention. And he said, these are the things that when you think on a team, this isn’t working, this isn’t functioning, they’re dysfunctions on purpose. The reason that Wiley, his publisher, nicknamed it “The Five Cohesive Behaviors,” it’s very positive, it’s moving forward, and this is how we’re going to counteract those behaviors. So it was a, it was a choice in marketing on purpose.
I like it. It’s JoyPowered®, right?
Yeah. And Laura, what are the five behaviors of a cohesive team?
So in Patrick’s work, he says the pyramid, your base foundation of the behavior you have to work on now and forever, amen, is trust. You have to build trust on a team, and that’s built with courage, not over time. Your next behavior, I always say you have to climb the ladder. So the next behavior in the pyramid you come up to is productive conflict. You have to be able to engage around ideas, not people. So that’s productive conflict. As you climb higher, if you have really great productive conflict, you can achieve commitment. So commitment is the next one, and that’s the idea that you mentally marry the decision. We don’t need consensus, we need to – commitment to the decision the team has made, because when you walk out of that meeting, that conversation, to put your energy behind it, that’s where we get to that commitment as a third behavior. The fourth behavior is accountability. Dun dun dun. Worldwide, if you measure the behaviors, the one that is always the lowest is accountability. Culturally, the idea that you know what to hold people accountable to, and you’re doing it, it’s a reason it made the list of the top five behaviors that show if you work on these behaviors, you can develop a cohesive team, it is the hardest to model and to then reproduce. And so it’s why it made the list and you have to work on it, and you’re never done, but you keep working on these, these behaviors. And the last one is, is all these things, you’ve climbed the ladder, collective results. You’re in it for we not me. And so I always say if you climb down one step, you get accountability. Accountability, if you think of a math problem, is the sum. The two inputs are your goals. What goal, this quarter, are you working on? Everyone has to know that objectively, under ground rules, how are we going to operate as a team? When you have those two things, your natural output is accountability. And I always say if you don’t have those, what are you holding them accountable to? So those are the brief overview of what those five behaviors are, and they do build on one another.
So I’ve got to ask about accountability is it failure of the individuals on the team to hold themselves accountable, or is it to hold each other accountable, or is it the boss holding them accountable?
So, Patrick would say that the most cohesive teams land on the side of peer to peer accountability.
So if you, if everyone knows what the goal is for that quarter, and you know the ground rules on how we’re going to operate, all of a sudden, if you have a team of 16, 16 people know what they can hold each other accountable to. If you don’t have those, only the boss knows that, so only the boss can truly hold anyone accountable. So I always say step back and get really objective. Because when you know the goal, where’s the value? What’s the priority? What are we trying to accomplish this quarter? Everyone has to run towards it. You get that –
You’re unified around that, and then we’ve said, “Hey, how do we, how do we deal with electronic communication outside of work hours? Let’s write some ground rules. How do we operate? How do we handle gossip in the workplace? How do we handle, if we move people to a different team and all of a sudden they keep hovering back at the last one, how are we going to handle those things?” This is where I say write out your issues and start to develop objective ground rules around them, because all of a sudden now everyone knows the expectations. So instead of one person holding the knowledge, your entire team holds it. So peer to peer accountability is now natural.
I would think most effective, really.
So Laura, tell us more about training on this program. Why and how does it work with teams?
So for the five behaviors of a cohesive team, the way that I do it, I do it over six months, two hours at a time with the entire team. There’s always a debate who should be in the room. Because I take around 20 people. It’s not how many people can you max out in that room, it’s who all is accountable for the same type of goal. You’re trying to accomplish something, you all have that in common, and you’re reporting to the same person. That’s how I say what quantifies a team. Because what the five behaviors does is it’s helping develop a cohesive team. It’s not knowledge, it’s how are we practicing these things. And the basis is the DISC personality profile. So the way that we talk about how we operate and how we’re going to look at that, we all look at it differently through our personality. So the more you know about yourself and your teammates, you’ve just upped your game on your communication, and really getting cohesive, and so that’s the framework. And so I do two hours a month with the whole team, where we literally talk through, what is trust? What’s it look like on your team? What does it not look like? So for me, I always start with something called a life story map. It’s from Kim Scott’s book, Radical Candor, where you literally write out, what were the events that affected you good, bad, or indifferent, from your – I always start with your freshman year of high school until now.
And as you’re telling your life story, you’re now connecting as a whole person. That’s building trust, because now you and I have things in common, I now kind of know a little bit, why you’re making decisions, and what you’re motivated by, because those patterns, how you showed up in the past, is what you’re doing now. So I always start with activities like that. And then you get into conflict, we actually write out how we engage with conflict from our personality. That comes out of the assessment you do with high behaviors. And so you realize, “Oh, my personality, if I’m a D, I can tend to jump into a conflict and I want to – can kind of be bull in a china shop. What do I need to do in meetings to make sure I’m not coming off that way?” If you’re an S personality, and you tend to want to keep things very steady, you’re not showing up in a, in a conversation around conflict because your personality would say, “shut down.” So we have, we literally teach the concept called mine for conflict. If someone’s quiet, you have to dig in and say, “Hey, I noticed that you’re quiet. By the end of this meeting, I want to ask you, do you agree or disagree or why?” Patrick really teaches that we have to look out and mine for it and don’t assume someone’s, everyone’s shared their opinion. No, no, as a leader, and that’s a relative term, anyone in the room can mine for conflict, but you have to jump in and mine for that. So throughout each, each month session, we dig into each one of those behaviors, and then in between, you have homework. So individually with one on one, you have to partner and keep building that trust and starting to take down the walls. I had one team who, as they worked through this, they said we see some bitterness coming down. Right, that’s happening anyway, that’s one of the byproducts of dysfunction. We have some bitterness and some walls between us and so in between, they’re doing homework. And as a team they’re working on their goals, they’re working on writing the ground rules. I want these things to become a habit that as a leader, you know, every quarter, stop, what are you trying to accomplish this quarter, we all need to have some productive conflict around that and make sure we’re really aligned to that. And then every week you check in on it, because I always say, vision leaks. We get off track, you walk out the door – squirrel! Fires happen. All these things happen. You don’t get away. This is what we said, this quarter, we’re going to align around. What goal could we actually accomplish that would make our team better in the future? And then your ground rules, I want it to be a habit that once a month you’re stopping, saying okay, “what are issues? What do we have going on? How are we sharing people? How are we, what tones are we using in email communication?” I have one team that makes you always have to start with “Good morning,” or “Good afternoon,” there is not an email that goes out. And that’s a ground rule. They want to always start off positive, and there’s some type of greeting, and that’s a ground rule they came up with. Regardless of your personality, this is what we’re doing.
I kind of like it!
Yeah. So I want those to be your habits.
So, what do you think is at stake if teams don’t work on these behaviors?
I start the first class with something called a best and worst qualities. And I say, “thinking your past, of team sports or in work that you’ve been on that you think back – not a great team. Think about why. There is something negative going on. You remember it.” And it’s very easy for, for people to remember. Hmm. Yeah, that wasn’t great. There’s things going on, and there’s things like backstabbing or micromanaging, gossip, lack of accountability, people can spew it out really quickly here. And then I say, “what were the ones that were really positive?” And they say, “Oh, we really had fun. I had a boss who cared. We all knew what was happening. We had really open, transparent communication.” And so when we say what’s at stake, positive visions don’t come to your mind when you say the dysfunctions of a team. When you think about, “I didn’t want to go to work. I quit that job.” We always make the joke, there’s people around you who have quit but not left.
That’s happening. It’s affecting your bottom line, it’s affecting whether or not people want to go into work. They say if you treat your employees well, they’ll treat your customers well. If we have a really low morale, and these dysfunctions are really apparent on our team, we’re not treating customers well, and that’s going to affect our bottom line and our productivity and innovation. Every good idea came from someone. The next idea is from is going to come from someone, someone around us. that next big phase in our companies and in culture. So mining for conflict, making really safe psychologically environments for our team to be creative and to come up with new solutions and to take on, we always say, “take ground!”. So those are the things that if you don’t, if you have a lot of those high dysfunctions and a lack of attention to it, it’s gonna hurt your company overall.
And Laura, what types of teams might be interested in this training? Should, should only teams who are dysfunctional sign up for the training?
Every single team needs this. Every single marriage needs this. Every single community needs this.
JoDee, I think you and I need this!
It’s funny, it’s – I always say this is any relationship. If you lack trust, you can’t then have really great productive conflict, because you didn’t have that built in to be able to have productive conflict. And if – I always say conflict and commitment are married, they’re twins. If you didn’t have great productive conflict around an idea, no one could get to commitment. Patrick always says, “You can’t buy in unless you weigh in.”
Well, that’s in any relationship. When we’re trying to function as teams and individuals and relationships, these are the behaviors, and he’s done research for so long. There’s over 4,000 companies, they’ve done research with teams for a long time to know this is it. This is where those behaviors lie. In fact, when I ask teams to do the best and worst qualities and we say what we want, we’re yet to find one of those qualities they talked about that isn’t tied to one of these behaviors. These are the basic five you have to have. So I say every team needs to work on this. There is an assessment that goes along with it and more often than not, the assessment in the beginning that’s red, yellow, green for these behaviors comes out all red. And that’s not a diss to the team. You have to have a baseline.
And if you’re not focusing on it, then it’s not having any attention.
So I think every team needs that. We focus on the warehousing, manufacturing industry, but there isn’t an industry out there that doesn’t need it.
And just to be clear, you’re not – I mean, could be – but not talking about leadership teams, right? You’re talking about teams on the floor, teams serving clients directly or not, literally all teams.
Sure. So I only coach management teams, so supervisors, managers, and Patrick teaches the concept of team one and team two. So in the room when I’m teaching teams, they’re their team one. When you walk out, if you’re, you all have direct reports, that’s your team two. The reason he teaches it is you always have to be more loyal to team one. They carry more responsibility, and you have a higher accountability level. Sometimes teams, their only action plan for a semester is “I need to focus on having more responsibility held at team one, because team two, I hired them, I spend time with them, I’m devoted to them,” right? But it is not good for your entire team one and your company if you’re more loyal to them, because then you won’t sacrifice for another team. That collective results is where we teach that idea. It’s we, not me. And me can’t be your team two. It has to be your team one. And so although I coach those, I then challenge them, this activity we did today, I ask a lot of intentional questions and have them practice building trust, and they do it with one another, you’ll go do this with your team two the next time you have a conversation, you better mine for conflicts because it’s there. And if you’re not getting it out, you’re not getting to commitment. So it’s leadership development. These are the habits, these are the practices, the behaviors that any leader I want them to model and take it out into their, into their own workers.
I love it. So I can absolutely see why this is so beneficial for teams. What do individuals come away with from doing this? What are the individual benefits?
So as an individual, the basis – it’s, let’s say your whole team doesn’t get involved, and they don’t run with it. You still can. You can make a difference on your team two. In our culture, people don’t tend to stay in their exact job forever, we tend to bump around, these are the habits and the behaviors that you need to live out of and model wherever you go forever, amen. On top of that, knowing your personality, knowing your blind spots, so it’s based on DISC, knowing that as a leader, knowing where you want to show up, what you need to qualify. For example, a D personality, we always say “You’re gonna have to work on timing and tone for the rest of your life.” So knowing that, say, “Oh, I’m gonna have to walk into these conversations.” And so Ds, I always say, before you start talking, smile. It’ll instantly take down your tone. It’s really hard to yell when you’re smiling. So take that down, have people around you who can check in on you and give you a signal, I always say like, touch your nose or touch your head so people get the hint, “oh, my tone is not where it should be, and I’m the leader, so this is going to really impact this group.” And so build people around you who aren’t your personality, who can build into that. So as an individual, knowing your personality, knowing these behaviors, this is how you lead. It’s really leadership development. So it’s great as a team, but even if teams – I’ve never had a team not rally around it, but let’s pretend they didn’t, an individual could definitely rally.
Yeah. So it makes sense. And you take it with you, what a great developer in your own career.
Yeah. So Laura, you know, in my life, I like to do things full speed ahead, but remind me how can slowing down to speed up can save a team’s longevity.
Slowing down to speed up is a leadership verbage we’ve used for a long time. It’s similar to Ben Franklin saying “for every minute you spend organizing, you spend an hour of time.” It’s sort of that idea. For the first time in history, we have five generations in the workplace. We have people who were raised, where they’ve never known life without the internet. We have people raised by parents who grew up in the depression. We have such differences. We are different strengths and different personalities. So this idea that I have an idea, I’m going to communicate it one day, one way, everyone’s going to get on board, and we’re gonna run and do it. [buzzer sound] The wasting of the drama, Patrick says that you’re either going to spend time on the front end making sure you get mental commitment and getting everyone on board, or you’re going to waste tons of mental energy and emotion later on, when it doesn’t really connect. And so this idea of stop, rally around, make sure you have productive conflict. He always says the only meetings that are allowed to go past their timeframe is if you’re having productive conflict, don’t resolve that. Those are the ones that are allowed to go past their timeframe on the calendar. So this idea that you have to stop and get everyone – so this assumption that the leader, let’s say the leader’s an I who’s a fast talker and relationship based and everything’s great ideas, and you have a C in the room who’s listening and thinking, “here’s all the reason that’s going to fail,” and I ran out the room and I think “This is great!”. I have not led them well. I should have listened to what they thought was going to fail, because it would have helped me as a leader, but also, if I knew it was going to happen anyways, I needed them to be mined for that conflict. So they can say it, because if they didn’t say it, they didn’t weigh in, so they couldn’t buy in. And so this idea, you have to slow down. Because if not, you’re gonna waste all that energy. So it’s going to come a lot further down.
So we know that you love coaching teams, it’s really apparent. And why do you prefer that than coaching individuals?
I do prefer teams over individuals, although I do both, because the head manager, I always have a one on with each month because I love digging into exactly, specifically what they’re doing. But when it comes to teams, the fact that I’m objective, so I can lean into when they make eyes across the table when I bring up a conversation, and I say, “Hey, what was that about?” Because here’s the thing, whatever drama happened, it’s not resolved. As Patrick says, it’s going to ferment down the road into politics.
I love helping them prevent politics, and I get to be objective. So I have anywhere in the room between four and 28 people depending on the size of the team, that if I can help them get stronger and better, they are, and they’re team one, exponentially. Now when they walk out of the room, they all represent how many more people, you just helped a whole company go further faster. So when it comes to team, the fact that everyone has a common language is the biggest gift I can give them. I teach a concept from Kim Scott’s book based on radical candor. Or I had a team the other day, I walked out and they were talking about the conference call they’re going to do with their customer next, and they said, “I think she may be a D personality.” And the world stopped for me and the skies opened. And I said, “that’s the point!” The fact that you just said to a peer, we want to better lead our customer by thinking about what her personality may be. That’s the point. So when a whole team can have that common language, you all just got a whole much more cohesive and more engaged and developed all your leaders and your team to – the exponential is just incredible, that benefit that you bring to that team. So although I do coach one on one, just that top person, usually men or women depending on who’s a manager. That’s why I like the whole team dynamic because it’s just, just multiplies.
Sure. I know it would be hard to believe, because we’ve been familiar with DISC for so long. We’ve all been through it. But we may have listeners who are not. Do you mind just for a moment going through the D, I, S, C, what it stands for?
Sure. And as Patrick says, whichever system you use that helps you and is accurate, use it. The point is just a framework to have conversations you’re not naturally having. So DISC is a personality assessment. There’s lots of companies that have done research and have assessments. Patrick’s world is based on everything DISC in the company they do. So the D is that dominant one, they tend to be more task oriented. Ds tend to be faster paced when you think of pace, and task oriented, they tend to want control, want to be very action-oriented. We always say the end of meetings, they’re going to tell you who’s doing what next. They can appear impatient. When you go next, the I. They are the influencers. They tend to want a message, an audience. They’re very enthusiastic, they’re relationship based, but also faster paced like a D. When you go down, you get down to the S, it stands for steadiness. They tend to be relationship based, but slower paced, they tend to want to see how can everyone be involved, did everyone get their voice heard, they’re the glue to a team. And then the C is conscientious, they tend to be task oriented and slower paced, they tend to want details very clear, they can also get stuck in a little bit paralyzed by information. So that’s why we really want to balance on any team personalities and different viewpoints. But those are the four quadrants, and it helps you know who you’re talking to, because their pace and priority is how you want to really communicate. We always say the biggest myth in communication is that it happened. So the more that you know who you’re talking to, and how they need to be spoken to to get on board with change or a new idea, the better you are as a leader. You’ve upped your game.
Perfect. Thank you.
Nice. And for the record, Susan and I are both high I.
Yes we are!
It’s part of why we’re podcasters, right? We like to influence and share information with our audience. So. Laura, why do you only coach ongoing and not do one-offs?
Great question. I do not do one-offs, which would be I show up one time and never come back, because it’s not best for the team. I only do six at a time. So when they sign up and say yes to coaching, they’re saying yes to six months. And the reason is just like if you were signing up at a gym and you signed up, “I want to do one training session this year.” What was the point? And it’s one of those things. The fact – the magic is what happens in between the classes, the magic is what happens when that bitterness comes down between that relationship and the fact that you were never willing to go to that department and ask for help, and now you are. And now you’re all getting more cohesive and unified and your, your day to day is getting better. That’s the magic. And that takes time. People are crock pots, not microwaves. And so along the way, the reason I only do what I do six at a time, and they commit to that is because it’s better for them to grow. So each month, a little bit of time, do this. Here’s this new concept. It’s two hours, in between work on it and build on that over time. That’s how muscles get built physically, and that’s how leadership muscles get built. There’s no magic in leadership development, you get what you work for. And so I tell them, I’m going to be demanding on purpose because I want your team to get stronger. And so it’s six months minimum.
Laura if our, if our listeners are interested in learning more about this topic, where, how can they find you?
So, I work for an amazing company called MAVPAK, M-A-V-P-A-K. So if you go to our website, mavpak.com, you’ll see everything we do. We have multiple things besides coaching that we do. You can see it there. And there’s links that if you want more information, you click on and we’ll follow up with you. So go to our website, mavpak.com.
All right. Thank you so much.
It’s been great. Thank you so much for coming.
JoDee, we have a listener question. “How do I explain a short stint of employment on my resume?”
Well, I think that’s a great question for our listeners. If – you know, for me, I graduated from college in the 80s, and having an open time on your resume was devastating to anyone.
We call it a gap in employment, right?
Yes, yes. Like, where in the heck were you during that time? And, you know, people would say I worked at this job from November 1 to December 3, and I started my next one on December 4. I mean, they wanted to make sure there was not even a day open in between employment. So my first response to you is, I don’t even think you have to explain it many of the times. That having stints, having gaps in employment these days is much more common than it has ever been before. Certainly during the recession from 2009 to 2011, there were thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, of people who had bigger gaps, and that became a softening of people, too, who were hiring, that it wasn’t all that important anymore to see that, or to understand what exactly people were doing. I have seen people put things in that, you know, I took time off to care for child or a newborn baby or I worked at home. But for the most part, I wouldn’t recommend that you have to explain that. Now explaining that in a conversation versus explaining that on my resume, I don’t think you have to feel overly compelled to go into too many details on that. Susan, what are your thoughts?
Yeah, for – you know, especially if it’s a very short one that occurs within the period of the same calendar year, I wouldn’t, probably not even include it. So if you worked till 2018 at one place, maybe January, February, and then you have a job that you pick up by November, December, I would just show 2018 as an end date for one job in 2018, for the beginning date of the new job. So I would not draw attention to it. You’re not lying, but you’re not drawing attention to it. And then I agree with you totally that since the Great Recession, I think employers get it. Almost everyone, you know, knows someone who has been affected by downsizing, layoffs, by job constriction. So I don’t think you need to be embarrassed about it. And let’s just hope the time that you were off, you found volunteer work, you were reskilling yourself, doing something that you’re very comfortable talking about.
Yeah. I, you know, talking about volunteering makes me think, I have had people who maybe took off time to raise children, maybe 10 years or 15 years, and I have encouraged them if, if they felt the need to explain it, to think about what did you do during that time? And were there volunteer leadership roles that you assumed where you were learning skills or interacting or building a network? And to include some of those things on your resume as well.
In our in the news section today, the National Labor Relations Board recently tightened up the definition of joint employer in a final rule. Under the 2015 decision of Browning-Ferris Industries, the NLRB had permitted the company to be deemed a joint employer, even if its control over the working conditions of another business’s employees was indirect, limited, or contractually reserved, but never exercised. The new rule states an entity is a joint employer of a separate employers workers only if the two employers share or co-determine the employee’s essential terms or conditions of employment.
Which means, of course, if you have temporaries on site, but you’re getting those temporaries through an outside agency, as long as you have nothing to do with their true terms of, of employment, you’re not managing those individuals, you’re not treating them as employees, it sounds like you’re going to be fine with this ruling. You’re not necessarily a joint employer. They just happen to be someone in your workplace providing temporary work for you.
Yeah. Very good. All right. Thanks for listening today and make it a JoyPowered® day.
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