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angry team member

I have a team member who never is in agreement with team leader or other members. Would you take him off the team? I have talked to him many times and it doesn't help. Suggestions?


You might want to try something new! Make him the team leader. See if his attitude changes after that experience. If it does not,take him off the team and reflect it in his performance appraisal.

Ron Obstfeld

I also have a team member who refuses to follow the guidlines of the course and generally makes it difficult for the rest of the team to do their jobs. The issues have been brought up numerous times by myself and my team members but management has not responded with any diciplanary action other than to have converstaions with this individual.
My question is, what do you do as a team leader when management does not respond to the needs of your team and you cannot take him off the team?

That a tough question and depends a lot on your organizational structure. You could approach management again and tell them that the conversation they had with the individual did not work. What would they suggest to improve the situation. Be sure to have some suggestions of your a temporary placement on another team to see if the same behavior continues. That would show that it is really an individual problem that needs to be addressed. You might also suggest that the an neutral observer be assigned to join the team and document the behavior.You could also move the complaint about this individual up the management ladder. Realize, unless you immediate supervisor is on board, this might be a politically dangerous move. I also suggest, if none of this works, see if you can give this individual, serparte and individual assignments so they are working alone.

Ron Obstfeld


Where I work we have one of those in our group. Everything we decide on was wrong in their view. So we decided to do is ask them to develop a solution and then we discussed it. After several discussions we proved to them that not all of their ideas were compatible with the goals of the group. It has worked, thus get us more positive input.

Thanks for the comments. Try anything that works!

Ron Obstfeld

I agree that identifying what exactly the difficult team member's concerns are is important. They may raise legitimate points, and it is easier to pinpoint where the communication breakdown lies once they've fully explained their view. You'd hate to remove a team member that had valuable ideas just because they weren't expressing themselves well!

I like the ideal of making him the team leader. It could very well help in fostering creativity in the team.

I would not take him off of the team as it would make other team members think that if you don't agree would be the next to get booted out and they would not be able to express their true input.

Instead, have that team member explain why the disagreement and respond to it.

I dealt with a situation like this before and it took time for me to understand the friction that the individual created it during meetings. I approached him by focusing on understanding his views and reasoning. I started to notice his guards start to go down and he started to communicate with more patience. While I was listening to him, we both started to realize that our objectives did not align. He realized he was not happy with the type of work he was doing. We both started realize his true feelings about his career path. During the time he attend our meetings, he was not having negative comments and started to come up with positive suggestions. He left our organization to pursue a different career path.

Members attitudes or outlook plays a big role in the progress of a team. I have experienced teams where everyone was very up beat and willing to work through differences in a positive way. This has made the process much easier. Yet having even one person who is pessimist can really delay the process and will often pull others into their train of thought and further pull the progress of things down.

Attitudes play a big role in how team members respond to each other and to the out come of process at hand

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