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There are millions of people in the world. And with millions of people, come millions of opinions. Some of those opinions can lead to manuals or books, mass produced for the public. And even fewer of these books become best sellers.


When thinking about the Human Resources industry, you can imagine that there are a lot of books and resources available to help professionals develop their skills within the HR industry, as there have been many successful HR professionals behind successful companies throughout history. Taking a look on Amazon, I came across the top selling HR book on the site. For any author to top an Amazon list is a big deal, so there was no hesitation in my mind that I should read a snippet and see what this particular book had to offer. The result? Exactly what I wanted.


The Book

The book, entitled, “5 Dysfunctions Of A Team,” was written by Patrick Lencioni. Centered around how teams function, or in this case, don’t function, Patrick tries to outline the breakdown and destruction of teamwork. By outlining where things can ultimately go wrong, Patrick describes ways to inherently build your team back up, noting that it’s important to have courage and discipline in order to make it happen.


According to the book, the 5 dysfunctions of a team are as follows:


  • Absence of Trust
  • Fear of Conflict
  • Lack of Commitment
  • Avoidance of Accountability
  • Inattention to Results


Why It’s Effective

These are some heavy topics to hit, which is likely why it has struck such a chord with audiences around the world. What Patrick does differently here, however, is take the reader on a plausible journey that makes the lessons extremely relatable. The writing is very clear and concise, without overwhelming someone with the thought of how their teams can fail. For any HR professional, it gives great clues on what to look for in order to stop a team from breaking down before more signs of trouble start to show.


Another key point of Patrick’s guide is that while he points blame to certain causes, he doesn’t point blame towards the individual. Situations will arise that disrupt workflow – this will not change – but instead of focusing the negativity onto one aspect of the group, Patrick shows how turning attention to the whole group and how the whole group can overcome negative aspects of work can be incredibly effective. This guide also comes with a great pyramid infographic that clearly identifies where breakdowns may occur.


Learning Lessons

The key to Patrick’s findings within his best-selling HR book simply come down to him listening and observing the behaviors around him. This is also, unironically, part of the base layer of his exercises for teams. Having trust in others around you, and knowing everyone’s individual strengths, is an important aspect of working in a team. As the content is so relatable and extremely organized, Patrick wins over his audience by sticking right to the point, and giving real life solutions to the problems that can arise in the workplace.


Do you have a book that has helped you develop your corporate skills? If so, comment on the article below.