Patrick Lencioni, author of Five Dysfunctions of a Team, asserts, “Teamwork remains the ultimate competitive advantage, both because it is so powerful and so rare.” With teamwork being so important, a facilitator’s role in recognizing team dysfunctions and potentially addressing them in a facilitated session is key to a successful outcome.
When building teams, we must start with trust. Do the members of this group/team trust one another? Do members of the work group/team trust ‘me’ as their facilitator? After the group/team has wrestled with trust-related issues it must next deal with real and anticipated conflicts and establish norms on how the group/team will resolve conflict.
Work groups and teams today are also faced with interacting thru computer-mediated decision support tools and the many telecommunication systems available to us today. Computer models are used to guide us in our investments. Models and simulations are routinely used for planning and mission rehearsals. Today’s eye-in-the-sky and miniature video cameras allow us to monitor operations in real time.
Perhaps more than ever we need to think of how all members on the group/team deal with 21st Century technologies, form relationships with remote participants, and how we will become trustworthy team mates. Business and organizational success depend on mutual trust and on our abilities to resolve conflict.