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3 Ways to Manage a Problem Team Member

We have all either managed a team or been involved with a team where there was one person that was just a thorn in your side; that one person who did not play well with others and frankly caused significant frustration and stress amongst the rest of the team members.

Too often we let it go on too long when we are managing the team. For a number of reasons:

  • We don’t like conflict
  • We are hoping the individual will just stop their behavior
  • We have enough to deal with and don’t want to deal with this too

It will not go away and I can assure you that it will only get worse and have a negative impact on the team the longer you let it continue.

Here are 3 ways to manage that problem team member:

1. Have a one-on-one meeting. Explain the behavior you are noticing and the effects of that behavior on the team. Be clear about expectations of the individual when working on the team and ensure understanding.

2. Hold an intervention. Have an intervention. Have a few people who are working closely with the individual get together with the individual to discuss the behavior of that person and the impact on the team and the impression that others have of him/her. Be clear about expectations for team members.

3. Seek help. If you have tried a number of ways to get through to the problem team member and are getting no response, seek help from someone higher up in the organization – such as the individual’s direct manager or your own boss. Be clear about what is happening and the impact the individual’s behavior is having on the team. Ask for their support in helping to correct the issue for the good of the team and the project.

What do you do to manage problem team members? Please share your suggestions, successes and challenges with others in the Comments field below. Thanks!