Incivility Drives Team Dysfunctions

The Basic Tenets Of The CREW Approach:

    1. People are highly tuned to indicators of respect.
    2. Reciprocity is Powerful
      1. Respect prompts respect from others.
      2. Disrespect prompts disrespect from others.
    3. Day-to-day contacts among colleagues are the infrastructure of teamwork.
    4. Improving the quality of day-to-day contacts among colleagues supports health and productivity.

Patrick Lencioni. In his bestselling book, The Five Dysfunctions of a Team, lists:

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

Poor collegiality underlies all five dysfunctions. This post concentrates on the first dysfunction: Absence of Trust.

Lacking trust, a team cannot function. People share their expertise, information, and energy when they trust others to accept their contribution appropriately. Without trust, you hold back.

  • You fear humiliation when others mock or reject your contributions.
  • You fear losing recognition for their contribution as others take credit for your efforts.
  • You fear others will undermine your core values by distorting your contribution.

Trust rests upon experience. The day-to-day contact among colleagues is their most credible and emotionally powerful experience about one another. It will determine their level of trust.

Action Points

How to promote a culture of civility:

  • Put respect into mission statements.
  • Articulate that value into policies.
  • Translate those policies into accountable, monitored processes.

Sometimes the planning process is not enough. Then a CREW process can turn things around.


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