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"... There's something in your teeth."

Updated: Nov 17, 2022

It's easy to confuse kindness and being nice. Too often, especially in Christian organisations, we think everyone must be nice all the time and that somehow this is what love is. Really? The Lencioni 5 dysfunctions dispel this myth, and I'm so thankful they do.

The easiest way to see this play out, as Lencioni explains in his books, is to think of one of your closest friends. If you were sitting over a meal with them and they looked up at you as they spoke and you saw they had a large piece of lettuce stuck in their teeth, what would you do? Would you be 'nice' and ignore it? Or would you be kind, and out of love tell them they have something in their teeth?

In teams, we need to get rid of the notion that nice equals kind. And we definitely need to stop believing that nice equals love. Lencioni 5 dysfunctions including conflict and accountability give us pause to this idea. In love, yes love, we need to hold each other accountable. Remember this is all based on a foundation of vulnerability. So accountability is only possible when we can be vulnerable with one another and not worry about character assassination when we reveal our flaws.

In your team, look around the room in the next meeting and ask yourself, 'Who has something in their teeth?' Then, tell them! And if goes down awkwardly then check how your atmosphere of vulnerability is tracking because maybe you have work to do there first. But make sure Lencioni 5 dysfunctions are front of your mind. If they are, and you work on being kind and loving... but not necessarily nice, you'll see your team and organisation go to a new level.

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