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Helping a Problem Team Member – Part II

He’s starting to care about others!

In Part I of this post we began a story of a new member of a project team, Jack, who had exceptionally strong technical skills but was not good with people. Read Part I for background before continuing with this part of the story.

When we left off with our story, Jack was offered one last opportunity to change the situation. He agreed with the option of working with a coach for a 6 month time period in order to begin to show improvement in how he worked with others.

And our update…

The coach Jack chose to work with we’ll call Stan. Stan and Jack really hit if off during their initial meeting. Stan had not only worked with individuals like Jack before in coaching assignments but – and this really made Jack feel comfortable – had been in a similar situation as Jack many years ago. Stan really understood the position Jack was in and the affect his behavior was having on others around him; and, therefore, the seriousness of it.

Two months into his work with the coach, Stan, it appeared that Jack was starting to get it – although he had a long way to go. According to reports from Stan, Jack was beginning to understand how his behavior was affecting the success of projects and the project team members. Jack was also beginning to understand that while he had exceptional technical skills, the company was, frankly, at wit’s end and would be willing to let him go even with such great technical skills if he couldn’t improve his people-focused skills.  Stan utilized case study examples to help Jack understand how his behavior was impacting those around him.

Working with Stan, Jack was beginning to make an action plan for how he could:

  • Improve his people skills so that they were as strong as his technical skills.
  • Re-build his damaged relationships with past team members.

Jack’s direct manager was pleased to progress to date, as was Human Resources. Jack really seemed to be working hard to correct the situation.

Stayed tuned for more updates!

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