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Problem Team Members

Are any of these folks on your team?

We all have problem team members! Here are some of the folks I have had on project teams:

  • My way or the highway!” Individuals who keep pushing until they get their way. They will wear you down and keep talking until you finally give in.
  • Wanderers” Individuals who can’t stay focused in conversations. They just keep going off on tangents and keep circling around the subject being discussed.
  • Fence sitters” Individuals who seem to move from one viewpoint to another, seeming to support everything and everyone. They won’t share their own ideas or thoughts.
  • Come alongs” Individuals who sit quietly until they know where the majority is heading and then follow. Often they will say, when it all goes wrong in the end, that it wasn’t their decision.

As a leader of the team, it is imperative that you clearly state acceptable behaviors for team members. I have found it most helpful, when getting the team together for the first time, to discuss these distracting team members and then get agreement we don’t want any of these folks on the team!

I have found when I take the lead here – and make it a fun activity! – I rarely have team members who fall into these bad behaviors. And if they do, it is easily correctable in a one-on-one conversation.

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