When Teams Don’t Commit

Dysfunctional teams cannot be blamed for all business failures, but they play a major role in unsuccessful projects and missed goals. In his acclaimed bestseller, organizational consultant Patrick Lencioni identifies The Five Dysfunctions of a Team:

  1. Absence of trust
  2. Fear of conflict
  3. Lack of commitment
  4. No accountability
  5. Lack of attention to results

 No team functions well without trust in their leaders. Equally important is trust among team members. Without trust, people don’t openly debate the issues and explore new ideas.  Worse, lack of trust leads to complacency, consensus and groupthink where everyone just “goes along to get along”.  There is no real commitment and no accountability to each other. In the end, teams are distracted and lose focus on the results they were designed to achieve.

Lack of Commitment in Teams

When teams lack trust and fear conflict, they’re likely to avoid commitment. Instead, they focus on self-preservation and maintaining amicable relationships. As people attempt to avoid confrontation, they stop listening to others’ concerns. Discussions become superficially polite.  For example, I hear about this a lot in coaching sessions.  Most people can sense when someone isn’t listening to their ideas or questions.  This single dynamic―often subtle―will shut down team engagement and commitment, and tension continues to grow.

Teammates who are cut off or ignored feel left out. They’re less committed to team effort, so they’re unlikely to “get with the program.” It becomes difficult for a team to move forward amid stalled decisions or incomplete assignments. Enthusiasm for projects takes a nosedive, and confrontations become commonplace. Some members even stop caring about whether the team succeeds.

Lack of commitment also becomes a problem when you fail to convey clear goals or direction. People are left to wonder what they’re supposed to do, and the team’s success is no longer their top priority. They mentally check out and just start going through the motions.

You can re-establish commitment by prompting team members to ask questions. When you invite dialogue, teammates learn more about each other. They’ll see others’ intentions, attitudes, motives and mindsets more clearly, eliminating the need to guess or assume.

Successful team leaders solicit all opinions, positions and ideas, while affirming those who offer them. They make a point of considering all input, which conveys a sense of worthiness to team members.  When teams have clear plans and directions, members become infused with confidence and commitment. People want to be led in ways that assure success and fulfillment.

What happens where you work? I’d love to hear from you. I can be reached here and on LinkedIn.

What is the Virtual Culture Dilemma?

Grab this ebook to find out! I'll also add you to my mailing list to receive the latest news and invitations.

You have Successfully Subscribed!

What drives destructive conflict?

Some conflict is healthy, but some is destructive. Grab this ebook to find out! I'll also add you to my mailing list to receive the latest news and invitations.

You have Successfully Subscribed!

How does agility relate to emotional intelligence?

And how can you tap into it to improve your leadership skills? Grab this ebook to find out! I'll also add you to my mailing list to receive the latest news and invitations.

You have Successfully Subscribed!

What is draining your company culture?

Grab this ebook to find out! I'll also add you to my mailing list to receive the latest news and invitations.

You have Successfully Subscribed!

How can you avoid the Great Resignation?

Grab this ebook to find out! I'll also add you to my mailing list to receive the latest news and invitations.

You have Successfully Subscribed!

4 Ways to Earn Trust (or Bust)

Grab this ebook to find out how to build a loyal and high-performing team. I'll also add you to my mailing list to receive the latest news and invitations.

You have Successfully Subscribed!

More Trust = More Profitability

Grab this white paper to find out how to improve your bottom line by increasing employees' trust in management. I'll also add you to my mailing list to receive the latest news and invitations.

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Lack of Team Alignment?

Grab this white paper to find out how to avoid low performance and align your team! I'll also add you to my mailing list to receive the latest news and invitations.

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Want to Build a Proactive Team?

Grab this white paper to find out how to get employees to think for themselves, take responsibility, and raise performance! I'll also add you to my mailing list to receive the latest news and invitations.

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Building Self Command

Bridging the Employee Passion Deficit

Grab this white paper to find out why people are passionate about their work but not their employer (and how to fix it)! I'll also add you to my mailing list to receive the latest news and invitations.

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Engagement Surveys Lead to Mediocre Outcomes

What should you do instead? Grab this white paper to find out! I'll also add you to my mailing list to receive the latest news and invitations.

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Set yourself (and your team) up for success with these essential habits

Beyond "get up at 5am and drink water," these habits will elevate your leadership, inspire your team and set you up for success.

You have Successfully Subscribed!