Team Dysfunction

Functional teams require hard work
Striving for a productive and healthy team requires work.

One of the things at Integrity Roofing and Painting that we find important is to regularly have book studies as a team and to apply the wise counsel from the author of the book into our daily lives and our corporate lives together. What I mean is that we regularly read through books together and we will sit down for several weeks at a time and break it down as a leadership team exploring truths. This is an important part of our dynamic culture to bring forth cultural unity and direction for transformation.

One of the books our community looked at together is the Five Dysfunctions of A Team, by Patrick Lencioni. We have found this book to be very practical and to be absolutely filled with golden nuggets of truth. Everywhere we turned we kept on finding wisdom. The good news is that we did not have to do all of the digging nor did we have to bring in heavy equipment or mining equipment to find this gold. Patrick Lencioni has done the  hard work for us. With many years of research and observing top corporations throughout the United States he discovered common denominators with his team of why companies struggle and how they succeed.  We’re going to share one of these character traits with you that we avoid and another trait that we embrace.

Dysfunctional team
Dysfunctional teams created by mistrust or absence of trust

I want to discuss this trait in a moment, however I would like to address roofing contractors in general and specifically roofing contractors in Colorado Springs and Denver the importance of this negative characteristic befalling teams. On the other hand a wholehearted team must function with a high degree of righteous character. You could settle for less which will result in a dysfunctional team, but that’s not fair to you, nor anyone else. What we recommend and we have discovered is that it’s important for leaders to do the hard work of confronting and caring enough for people to actually confront this character issue. What I mean is that confronting others and confronting team members and in particular confronting our self is the key to transformation.

Most roofing contractors are stuck in the same patterns of character that they started their business with. Not only roofing contractors, but many companies are still functioning at a dysfunctional level. Many have given up hope on functioning at a higher level. What I’m saying is, “If a business started in 1990 culturally with a character deficit they’re most likely doing the same things and functioning with the same dysfunction that they started with from the beginning.  It’s very important for the managers and for the owners of roofing businesses to be willing to do the hard work of transformation, which will involve significant confrontation and/or conflict. This is messy work and it requires you to be brave and vulnerable. Being vulnerable has not been easy for me, yet it was necessary for transformation. Although I haven’t struggled with this issue the process remains the same if someone wants to be changed. It requires vulnerability.

Well let’s take a look at the book and let’s discover the first thing that Patrick has to say about the five dysfunctions of a team. Now, with this in mind I’m going to encourage you to take the approach that you may have a measure of this dysfunction in yourself.  So brace yourself for the pain of transformation. Once you see this in team members it’s easy to point out. The hard thing is embracing the truth if you see this in yourself. Okay guys let’s begin

The first thing that Patrick discusses in the book is the absence of trust.  Let’s go ahead and break this down and what this may look like in a roofing company. We’re only taking a glance at the absence of trust in community or a team and it’s impact. Please understand what I’m saying, “Absence of trust is a killer in all relationships.” And we are going to briefly look at the opposite of lack of trust.  A highly functioning individual and organization that operates with integrity is the positive. The negative side is absence of trust, not being trustworthy or out right being a liar.

Avoiding Team Dysfunction In regards to the absence of trust I believe that a roofing company can manifest this in many ways. There are smaller issues of lack of trust and larger issues. Ultimately it can manifest in several ways. A larger and more common issue with roofing companies is regards to absence of trust is because Roof
they break the law. When a roofing company is knowingly breaking the law by paying deductibles and sending out team members knowing that they are breaking the law, mistrust is being birthed from the owners and management or rather from the top-down. There is little chance that an organization that is breaking the law can thrive on trust. Who and their right mind would trust me if I lied to insurance companies and homeowner’s on a regular basis? If you or your company is stuck in this practice it will typically lead to greater compromise resulting in halfheartedness. It’s hard to live a satisfied life while living in compromise. Living wholehearted lives requires transformation and breaking agreement with this old perilous habit. Please understand that one embraced absence of trust on my part will typically lead to justification and compromise in other areas of my life. I’m not ok with this, therefore I want to live a life free of compromise and I encourage you to do the same. Roofing contractor or salesman I want to encourage you to make the change. Living a wholehearted life is attainable.

The small demons or smaller issues of absence of trust are destructive to unity and community as well. A smaller issue can include not keeping your appointments. What I mean is when someone is habitually disobedient with keeping their word they are manifesting and creating an absent of trust with team members and others. When a team member gives their word they are making a promise that others are depending on. For example, if I never or rarely keep my  appointments it is a sign of habitual disobedience, which results in an absence of trust from the other team members. It is true that an absence of trust is formed from this small demon of not showing up when you say you’re going to. Disunity results from not keeping our word and once I’m labeled as untrustworthy it’s almost impossible for team members to give their confidence to me. Absence of trust kills unity.

Functional team work requires trust
Functional teams require trust

Team members need to understand that lack of follow through on their part negatively impacts other team members. What happens during a football game when the players don’t follow through? The results are negative! The same is true in our lives.

If I’m late I should tell the other person or team that I recognize that my tardiness negatively impacted their time and I apologize for my way of being or behavior rather than give an excuse. I must acknowledge that I knowingly negatively impacted others and ask for forgiveness for my behavior. This is better and more truthful then the typical apology, “I am sorry that I am late, but it was the weathers fault.” When I break trust it is necessary for me to acknowledge the negative impact to other people and to own my bad choice, otherwise a spirit of disunity begins to manifest. I have to own my failure and not blame traffic, roofers, mechanic problems or any typical self-justification for my failure. I am the one to blame and I shall not blame circumstances. If I blame circumstances than I paint myself as a helpless victim which I am not. I am a product of my choices and not a victim of circumstances. This perspective will help produce in me wholeheartedness and I hope you’ll consider what I’m saying.

One of the manifestations or negative impact for team members with someone not trustworthy is holding grudges and un-forgiveness toward the lying party. It’s almost impossible to walk in unity with someone that you can’t trust. A team is truly dysfunctional when they enable the continuation of, “Absence of trust” within a team member. Once someone is known as a liar and they have been confronted and yet they are unwilling to change it would behoove the management and owner to make the right decision and to dismiss this person from their roofing company. In order to have a fully functioning team each member must be healthy. Ultimately if everyone embraces positive transformation you’ll find yourself surrounded by healthy wholehearted people.

You can have a strong team
You can have a strong team with hard work.

May we strive and I said strive for it is not natural to become a truth keeper and to live a wholehearted life together with others in community. In reality all of humanity has a natural proclivity to protect themselves and to protect their identity which would include the natural tendency to live in the absence of truth or lying in order to avoid pain or consequences. You have been made for something greater than this and I hope you find this post sobering and refreshing for you can change. One thing is constant and that is you and I are always changing.

The question is will I do what needs to be done today in order for me to be who I want to be tomorrow?