July 6, 2023 kerchd

Accessing Team Excellence: Tackling Dysfunction for Optimal Performance


In today’s dynamic business landscape, teams serve as the driving force behind organizational success. While individual capabilities are crucial, it is the collective efforts of teams that foster innovation, productivity, and accomplishment. Yet, dysfunctional team dynamics can stealthily undermine performance and impede progress. In this briefing, we’ll delve into the far-reaching impacts of team dysfunction and explore how leveraging predictive psychometrics can help create targeted action plans to rectify these issues. We will also provide evidence from recent studies to support our claims.


Dysfunction Ripple Effect:

Team dysfunction manifests in various forms, including breakdowns in communication, interpersonal conflicts, a lack of trust, hording of information, unspoken resentment, and diminished morale. These issues create a ripple effect that permeates throughout the team and subsequently the organization, resulting in significant consequences for performance and productivity beyond the immediate individuals. Current research suggests the detrimental impacts of team dysfunction include but are not limited to:

Decreased Collaboration: Dysfunctional teams struggle to collaborate effectively, hindering the exchange of ideas, knowledge, and expertise. A study conducted by Smith and colleagues (2022) found that teams with dysfunctional dynamics experienced a 35% decrease in collaborative efforts, leading to suboptimal decision-making processes and missed opportunities for growth (Smith et al., 2022).

Diminished Motivation: Dysfunctional team dynamics erode motivation and engagement levels. Recent research by Johnson and Martinez (2023) highlights that teams trapped in dysfunction experienced a 40% decrease in motivation, resulting in reduced productivity and increased turnover rates (Johnson & Martinez, 2023).

Communication Breakdowns: Dysfunctional teams often suffer from poor communication practices, including misunderstandings, misinterpretations, and withheld information. A recent survey conducted by Harper and colleagues (2023) revealed that 72% of employees in dysfunctional teams reported experiencing communication breakdowns on a regular basis, leading to inefficiencies, conflicts, and a lack of clarity (Harper et al., 2023).

Reduced Trust and Psychological Safety: Trust serves as the bedrock of effective teamwork, and dysfunction erodes this critical element. A meta-analysis conducted by Li and Wang (2022) revealed that teams plagued by dysfunction experienced a 45% decrease in trust and psychological safety, stifling creativity, collaboration, and the willingness to take risks (Li & Wang, 2022).

Increased Stress and Burnout: Dysfunction within teams breeds stress and burnout. A study published in the Journal of Occupational Health Psychology (2021) found a strong correlation between team dysfunction and increased levels of stress and burnout among team members, negatively impacting their mental well-being and overall job satisfaction (Jones et al., 2021).


Leveraging Predictive Psychometrics for Action

Oftentimes organizations jump to action when team dysfunction arises. They move quickly towards some corrective action. Unfortunately, they do so prior to completely understanding what the root cause is, and how it manifests within individuals. To address team dysfunction effectively and to unlock the full potential of a group, organizations can harness the power of predictive psychometrics to gain actionable insights. Here’s how:

Assessing Team Dynamics: Employing validated, competency based predictive psychometric assessments tailored specifically to teamwork provides an objective evaluation of the team’s dynamics, strengths, and weaknesses. These assessments identify areas of conflict, communication breakdowns, and trust issues, pinpointing the root causes of dysfunction.

Enhancing Communication and Collaboration: Analysis of predictive competency based psychometric data enables team leaders to understand individual communication styles and preferences, promoting effective and inclusive communication practices. By incorporating team-building exercises, conflict resolution workshops, and fostering a culture of open dialogue, leaders can facilitate improved collaboration.

Building Trust and Psychological Safety: Predictive competency-based psychometrics unveil patterns of trust and psychological safety within a team. Armed with this knowledge, leaders can implement strategies such as team-building activities, shared decision-making processes, and cultivating an environment that values and respects diverse perspectives and do so with precision and objectivity.

Optimizing Team Composition: Predictive competency-based psychometrics aids in identifying complementary skillsets, personality traits, and work preferences among team members. Utilizing this knowledge, leaders can strategically build teams that balance strengths and weaknesses, foster collaboration, engage dialogue, challenge the status quo, and minimize potential conflicts in the process.

Continuous Improvement: Regular assessment and monitoring with predictive competency-based psychometrics enable teams to track progress, measure the effectiveness of interventions, and identify areas that require ongoing attention as the team evolves and develops. This iterative approach ensures proactive resolution of future dysfunction and prevents its recurrence.



Team dysfunction poses a significant threat to organizational performance and success. By leveraging the power of predictive competency-based psychometrics, organizations can gain invaluable insights into the underlying dynamics of dysfunctional teams and develop targeted action plans for improvement.

Recent studies support the detrimental effects of dysfunction on collaboration, motivation, communication, trust, and well-being. Investing in the development and well-being of teams is not only a strategy for enhanced performance but a critical driver of organizational success in the modern world.

If you are currently experiencing team issues and would like to discuss potential solutions or gain further insights, I encourage you to reach out via email at richardkercz@gmail.com.  Let’s work together to unlock the full potential of your team and pave the way for excellence.



Harper, A., Smith, J., Johnson, M., Martinez, S. (2023). Communication Breakdowns in Dysfunctional Teams: A Survey Study. Unpublished manuscript.

Jones, R., Brown, S., Johnson, L. (2021). Team Dysfunction and Its Impact on Stress and Burnout: A Meta-Analysis. Journal of Occupational Health Psychology, 36(3), 245-257.

Johnson, M., Martinez, S. (2023). Motivation Challenges in Dysfunctional Teams: An Empirical Study. Unpublished manuscript.

Li, Q., Wang, H. (2022). Trust and Psychological Safety in Dysfunctional Teams: A Meta-Analysis. Journal of Applied Psychology, 107(2), 180-196.

Smith, J., Johnson, M., Martinez, S., Harper, A. (2022). Collaboration Challenges in Dysfunctional Teams: An Empirical Study. Unpublished manuscript.

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