The term “dysfunctional” is thrown around loosely and often. When was the last time you heard someone say, or you said: Our team is dysfunctional, or my family is dysfunctional? That implies judgment like there’s something really wrong with it, and it’s unusual. As if to say, a small number of groups or families are dysfunctional, while highly functional efficient groups/families are the norm. Really? Is that your experience in the real world? To me, it doesn’t pass the smell test.
Most families & groups have their troubles. Some more than others; but show me a group, of any kind, without its deep-seated travails, and I’ll show you a fictional version of the 60’s show ‘Father knows Best.’
It is far more likely that dysfunction is the norm. Sure, there are levels and layers and types of dysfunction, but how many times have you said to yourself: Now that is a really well-functioning team or group, I see that often, and it’s pretty normal. Not often.
If dysfunction is the norm, then we should cut ourselves some slack. High functioning groups are rare and to be treasured, and something to which we should aspire. But they are not normal. At least not in the world we inhabit.