12 Angry Men a Review of Dysfunctional Teams
Although the story revolves around a young 18-year-old Latino boy who has been accused of stabbing his father to death with a knife, the viewers are carried through the plot by observing the dysfunctional behaviors of the jurors. The five characteristics of a dysfunctional team according to Patrick Lencioni are absence of trust, fear of conflict, lack of commitment, avoidance of accountability, and inattention to results. Even though this team experiences each of these obstacles, the strengths of the individuals overcome to reach the unanimous not-guilty verdict.
This paper will highlight the individuals’ strengths and weaknesses and will provide insight on the decision making process that applies to working on a team. The evidence of absence of trust is clear from the beginning of the film. None of the jurors trust each other. Juror #3 and Juror #8 exemplify a lack of trust throughout the film. During a heated debate Juror #8 finally confronts Juror #3 and asks him, “Are you his executioner? Perhaps you’d like to pull the switch. ” Clearly these words show how extreme the lack of trust is.
Juror 8 does not believe that Juror #3 is making his conclusions based on case evidence. Because Juror #8 knows that Juror #3 has misplaced intentions, he cannot trust him. Because Juror #8 has the integrity to ensure that a not-guilty verdict is unanimous, he uses his Influencer personality type to persuade Juror #3. An Influencer personality has the strength to persuade those around him. He forces Juror #3 to examine the reason why is so quickly judges the young boy. He further exclaims from the scene mentioned above, “Ever since you walked into this room, you’ve been acting like a self-appointed public avenger!
You want to see this boy die because you personally want it, not because of the facts! You’re a sadist. ” Juror #8 convinces Juror #3 to divulge that his true motivation is misplaced. Juror #3 is misdirecting blame to the young boy for acts that were committed by his son, and Juror #3 is looking for someone to be held accountable. Because Juror #8 was insightful and an Influencer, they overcame the absence of trust to gain a not-guilty vote. Fear of conflict is predominant with Juror #2. Throughout the film Juror #2 runs from the conflicts and heated debates.
He is easily persuaded and seems to agree with the group decisions. He is intimidated by Juror #8 and silenced multiple times. It is during a heated argument between Juror #3 and Juror #8 that he observes and eventually concludes that the young man is innocent. Although it may seem that Juror #2 serves as a weak team member, he brings the strengths of Creator to the group. A Creator tries to make sense of the world or views different possibilities than others. Juror #2 internalizes the motivations and reasoning behind the case and his cohorts.
Once he is confident that the young man is not guilty, he begins to share his ideas. For example, he convinces the group to see the knife again because he does not believe the young man could have stabbed the victim based on each of their heights. Once the team conducts this experiment, some more jurors see Juror #2’s perspective and decide upon innocence. Lack of Commitment is exemplified in Jurors #7. Juror #7 is only interested in voting guilty, ending the debate, and attending a baseball game later that evening. He immediately encourages the foreman to hold a vote quickly.
Juror #7 displays a persona of a poor Influencer. He attempts to convince the group of a guilty verdict for his own personal gain. He provides little insight to the group and is only concerned about his own personal agenda. Once the majority changes to not-guilty, Juror #7 settles with the majority in order to end the process more rapidly. In contrast, Juror #11 questions Juror #7 about his incentives that changed his vote. As an immigrant, Juror #11 is patriotic and thinks the jurors should use their vote as a privilege and with respect.
He exemplifies the persona of an Equalizer, someone who stabilities situations ethically. Even in the beginning of the movie, he contends that the secret ballot needs to remain private. He is compelled to allow whoever voted not guilty the discretion they were promised. His strengths as an Equalizer help the jurors conclude a unanimous verdict based on the proper reasoning. Avoidance of accountabilty is predominant in Juror #10. He refuses to accept that his decisions are made on personal biases and does not have accountabilty for his own biased beliefs.
He is the racist of the group and clearly portrays his view points on the group early during the deliberation. This is evident during his racial tirade when he states, “Look, you know how these people lie! It’s born in them! ” Refusing to accept that he is basing his opinions on experiences that have occurred in their past, this causes the group to dive further into turmoil during the process. Even though Juror #10 tries to convince the jurors that the young man is guilty, Juror #5 uses his strengths as a Teacher to contradict Juror #10’s influence. Juror #5 grew up in the slums and works in Harlem hospital.
By providing his valuable insight to the group, he enlightens the jurors’ understanding. It is Juror #5 that specifically explains how to use the switchblade in question. This allows the team to have a different perspective on how the attack actually occurred. Inattention to results is visible in Juror #4. Throughout the film Juror #8 provides multiple examples that exemplify reasonable doubt. Juror #4 was not willing to acknowledge these results until the end of the film. He finally acknowledges that the female witness could not make an accurate sighting without the use of her glasses.
Team members like this will cause failure amongst the group because of their unwillingness to understand the results in front of them. Juror #4’s strength was his attention to detail that is usually found in an Equalizer. He relied on the hard evidence of the woman not wearing glasses in the court room to determine his not-guilty vote. His level-headed thinking style and practical view of the case allowed him to make a well informed decision. The juror portrays multiple group dysfunctions throughout the film, including absence of trust, fear of conflict, lack of commitment, avoidance of accountability, and inattention to results. 2 Angry Men is an accurate portrayal of dysfunctions that occur on a daily basis with teams. It is only through their individual strengths that as a team they overcome these obstacles, and come to a not-guilty verdict. Teams can learn from this film on how to avoid these dysfunctions and overcome many of the issues that were faced.