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Leadership in Teams and Trouble with Teamwork

Organizations rely on different individuals to implement their strategies and meet the brand goals. The employees might work independently or in teams, but the target is one; achieve the set objectives. The readings focused on some of the challenges teamwork faces, including complaints, lack of commitment and trust, conflict, and accountability. For instance, Kegan and Lahey (2002) noted that most people argue that work hinders personal growth and development. This statement is one way that employees grumble, and it only leads to discord and unproductivity. Therefore, the authors suggested that leaders can turn whining into commitments using a four-column approach tool. The table was designed to help individuals understand the root of problems by exploring and eliminating assumptions.

Reflection and Applying Concepts to Professional Setting

School’s performance depends on many components, including teachers’ expertise, nurturing environment, principal’s leadership, and productive parent involvement. I have noted that these factors are influenced by how much the teachers are committed to working together to address possible problems or learning gaps. There are also instances where educators protest about the lack of support, burnout, or stagnation. Kegan and Lahey (2002) argued that besides allowing people to blow off steam and uniting them in sharing resentment, lamenting does not achieve anything. Consequently, the authors suggested transforming this lousy habit into commitment through the proposed seven languages for personal learning and reflective leadership. As educators, we can eliminate criticism by embracing and acknowledging them as possible problems. This approach allows the teachers to explore things under their control and take personal responsibility. For example, a teacher complaining about lack of technical support can find available alternatives that support learning.

Educators also experience difficulties forming or sustaining functional and practical groups. The challenges are caused by a lack of vulnerability-based trust defined by Lencioni (2003) as a place where leaders willingly acknowledge their weaknesses and mistakes. School principals and district boards refuse to recognize when some policies are not working because they do not want to be considered failures. However, I learned that showing vulnerability in the face of difficulty allows people to share insightful ideas that solve a problem. Vulnerability-based trust enables the team members to engage in unfiltered productive conflict and exchange valuable information that lead to better solutions.

Fear of conflict is one of the major barriers to effective teamwork. In school, principals or teachers might only suggest popular ideas because they do not want to be opposed. Lencioni (2003) argued that many leaders and group members avoid conflict, assuming that it strengthens a team. Ironically, a lack of disagreements or health discussions is unproductive because many crucial issues remain unresolved. For example, suppose teachers do not share their opinions about an important decision. In that case, they will spend more time revisiting the same problems because they were uncomfortable about it in the first place. Thus, it is advisable to engage in healthy conflicts, where members speak their minds that allows the team to reach a resolution that benefits all.

Schools have diverse students with competing needs, making it challenging for educators to decide what areas to teach. This issue of competing commitments and demands prevents actual change from happening (Kegan & Lahey, 2002). As a result, leaders and team members are expected to practice unwavering commitment and unapologetic unaccountability. Being comfortable in identifying problems and committing to solving them can bring organizational change. The teachers can identify specific issues, assumptions and take responsibility for resolving the difficulties.


Kegan, R., & Lahey, L. L. (2002). How the way we talk can change the way we work: Seven languages for transformation. John Wiley & Sons.

Lencioni, P. M. (2003). The trouble with teamwork. Leader to Leader, 2003(29), 35-40. Web.

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