How to Manage a Difficult Team Member.
In most cases, employers or team leaders try so hard to ignore individuals on a more personal level. They feel it’s unethical and their personal life shouldn’t interfere with their performance, but in some cases, it’s really hard to ignore.
Personally, I’d say that as long as an employee’s performance is affected, asking them personal questions isn’t out of place.
We all know that one person at work, that one guy who’s a constant pain in the butt and always finds a way to make every meeting sulky. Even if you barely experience situations like this, there’s only a person who’s generally difficult to work with and exhibits complete inflexibility.
However, the situation becomes more difficult to deal with when that employee is one of the brightest and has attained numerous milestones in a workplace. You find it hard to get rid of them.
So, what’s the way out? How do you deal with a redneck at the office?
Firstly, you have to make sure there’s an actual problem. What I mean is, you have to be sure you’re not the only one seeing this problem and if possible, try to seek the opinion of other employees.
If there’s a uniform agreement, you can take the following steps, but if it turns out you’re the only one having issues with this person, maybe you’re just the redneck after all.
Avoid Showing Negative Reactions
In a case like this, you have to stay cool. Do not escalate the problem by getting mad at their negativity. Attend to their outburst with rationality, not a greater outburst.
Identify the Genesis of the Problem
You don’t just pounce on them without understanding what the real problem is. There’s probably someone in the team who triggers their hot side and pushes their buttons every second, you never know until you make efforts to find out.
Among other reasons, some of these could also be the reason why a team member is difficult to deal with:
- Pressure from home or workplace
- Less or zero support from the boss
- Having consistent disagreements with a particular team member
- Lack of motivation
- Their skill set doesn’t match the project at hand
- They barely get additional responsibilities, they feel undervalued
Speak With Them
Pull them aside (this should be done preferably by a superior) and ask them what the real problem is. A difficult team member might have deep concerns that may be of help to the entire team and if all they needed was the attention, they just got it.
Based on the issues they have, allow them to recommend solutions and as the boss, you should contribute to this too.
Implement the Solutions they Offer
Don’t make them feel important and then drop them halfway, make sure you implement that change together and give them a responsibility to help improve their attitude.
Be Patient and Give Them Gentle Reminders
People don’t change like a switch, you have to give them time and space to allow the change sink in. More so, check on them from time to time and remind them if their behavior persists. If things remain the same over time, ask them what else can be done.
Don’t Hesitate to Fire Them
Some people are just terrible at dealing with other people and in the long run, they sabotage the team’s progress. Just like the instruction on a malaria pill says, “If symptoms persist, see a Doctor”, if this individual remains toxic, don’t hesitate to show them the door.
We’d like to know if you have other suggestions, kindly express yourself using the comment section.