Essay Example on Team Conflict Leads to Lack of Commitment: Lencioni

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  5
Wordcount:  1106 Words
Date:  2023-01-26


As the team avoids the conflict through an artificial harmony and do not debate honestly, it results in a lack of commitment. People do not feel 100% involved and do not believe that they should try too hard to achieve the objectives. In instances where a team member is not listened to or has not "bought an idea", he/she will not generate commitment or ownership over the actions to be taken. Lencioni says, "When people do not express their opinions and do not feel they have been heard, they do not commit themselves" (Lencioni, 2015, p.90). To generate commitment in the team, it is necessary that those involved "buy" the agreed decisions. For this, it is important to consider the two most important aspects for the lack of commitment:

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Search for total consensus: Many organizations invest too much time and remain immobile looking for full consensus before making a decision, thus avoiding conflict and being "politically correct". Most people deeply want their ideas to be heard and evaluated, even if they are not the ones that will be executed. Effective organizations recognize the above and accept that consensus will not always be present, rejecting the principle that "doing something despite the uncertainty of success is better than doing nothing".

Clarity: For the majority, it is easier to follow a fixed and clear objective, than one that moves constantly. The absence of clarity will bring ambiguity to the goals and it is difficult to achieve commitment under these circumstances. The team that manages to give clarity and simplicity to its objectives makes them reachable to its members.

There are several ways through which this dysfunction can be overcome. The leader must seek clarity and the "purchase" of decisions by the team. Some tools that the leader can use include: Clearly define the messages to be sent about decisions to the rest of the organization and setting clear deadlines. Analyzing contingencies and the "worst case scenario" and exposure therapy at the least risk. The leader must constantly be pushing for the conclusion of the goals in time, in addition to being willing that not all decisions will be correct. Efficient teams get their teams to "buy" decisions expressed clearly and with achievable terms of time, in order to move forward.

Evasion of responsibilities/Accountability

The fourth dysfunction is avoiding responsibilities. In this dysfunction, Lencione (2002) refers to the evasion of the individual to render accounts to the team and that the latter does not have the confidence to demand one another as agreed. Responsibility, for example, is avoided when there is no clarity in the goals, when they do not become their own or when there is no commitment to the decision. Since the team is not committed, it is easy for the members not to feel responsible. Team confidence is knowing that when a team member demands, it is because they care about the overall results. When a person is not committed, he/she does not align their actions with the agreed standards and will avoid accountability.

There is responsibility among the team members to comply with the agreement. A healthy signal is when there is availability to challenge each other in the work they do, what they do with their time or what progress they make. The availability of giving and receiving group pressure helps to obtain the desired results. According to Lencioni, "The secret, of course, is to define our goals and our results in a way that is simple enough for everyone to understand and specifies enough to be put into practice" (Lencioni, 2015, p.76). There are several ways of overcoming a lack of commitment. First, through open publication of goals and standards, simple and regular review of progress, and recognition by teams. The leader should promote that the members of the team are the first source of accountability between them and not the leader himself and that the leader can intervene only when necessary.

Inattention to the Results

It happens when the team members put their personal goals on the group. For Lencioni (2002), the first team to which one belongs is that which the leader integrates horizontally, rather than vertically. It is in this horizontality that the goals are given by global unit or organization, not individual ones. If the team loses all lose. This is a situation of collective ego vs. particular ego, the key is to make the collective ego greater than the individual. It happens that when there is no confidence, the productive conflict is feared, there is the absence of commitment and accountability is avoided; then the members of a team end up focusing on their individual needs or those of their departments neglecting the collective goals of the team.

There are several ways of reducing this dysfunction. First, the leader must set the example of the focus on the results, in such a way that the rest of the team is aligned with that approach. The leader must keep the team focused on common and tangible objectives and compensate according to the results obtained in them. Other suggestions include a public statement of results and results-based recognition. Lencioni says, "Weekly Team Meetings (two hours in the office): Topics may include reviewing core activities, reviewing the progress of objectives, reviewing sales, reviewing clients, resolutions on tactics, mass messages" (Lencioni, 2015, p. 202).

An Example of a Dysfunctional Experienced: Absence of Confidence

I was the chief operating officer (CEO) of a garbage company that was having difficulty selling services because the sales manager did not know the dimensions of the containers. He did not want to ask for measures from the maintenance manager, because he thought we would notice that he does not understand the product he is selling. When I reviewed with the sales manager the sales of large containers and wanted an explanation as to why the sales were low, the sales manager simply replied that there was not enough market. I grew friendly with him and he confided with me that he was not aware of the correct dimensions of the containers. We were able to solve this problem and sales increased. The sales manager lacked confidence and felt vulnerable. Trusting one's peers is knowing that one can show weakness, ask for help, and expose one another without this being considered a demonstration of weakness or incapacity. One has to trust him/herself to expose their feelings and to speak openly to what bothers them. I fostered a trusting environment with him and he gained confidence with me.


Organizational performance depends heavily on the dynamics of the leadership team: smart, well-coordinated leadership, which functions as a team, leads the organizatio...

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