“You are not being a team player.”

Another in my series of terms education leaders use and the real meaning behind the well-intentioned term.

Usage: uttered by one (who either is more powerful or who believes they are more powerful) towards another in an attempt to get the less powerful to go along with a bad idea.

Ostensible meaning: we value teamwork and we all need to be working together on this idea

Real meaning: I want you to help us, and I can’t think of a good reason why you should help us, but by saying this, then I am pointing to you as one who is not going along with my idea. Rather than being truthful that I cannot articulate a reasonable or logical argument to define my position, I am going to accuse you of violating a nebulous expectation, thus have you to blame when my bad decisions produce failure.