Part I What is going on?

Before you can apply the right tools to get your team back on track, you first need to identify what’s going wrong. You need to:

  • recognise the symptoms of the dysfunction/s that are occurring in your team
  • understand what conflict, conduct or cultural issues are causing problems, noting where there is more than one
  • think through the problems from the perspective of your colleagues in the team. What is their lived experience of the team right now? What is driving their behaviours? What are they trying to achieve? How do they want things to be different?

Don’t worry if you feel a little overwhelmed as you begin to diagnose the issues. The chapters in part I are designed to help you. We will set out the 12 most common dysfunctions that we have seen in workplaces across Australia and overseas over the past 20 years.

The Symptoms box at the start of each chapter in Part I lists the behaviours that commonly manifest when a team is in the grip of that particular dysfunction. Do any of those symptoms look familiar? You may very quickly recognise a dysfunction that you and your team are experiencing. Keep reading and you’ll learn how and why that problem arises, and how it affects team functioning.

Don’t stop when you identify one dysfunction your team is experiencing. There may be one or a variety of issues, which may be distinct or enmeshed together. In our experience, it’s rare that only one specific problem affects a team over a long period of time. Usually ...

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