Topic-icon Disgruntled Members

11 months 1 week ago #147 by Brian Bazzett

Whoo man, this is a tough one. As there are so many things a team member can be disgruntled about. Another team member, their role, their ex-spouse constantly making baseless accusations of wrongdoing (completely theoretical example there of course..). This also has to do with the most complex of project issues – a person’s feelings. Which means there is no single answer or best way, as every person is different. So my advice comes with a heaping spoonful of ‘be cautious and sensitive”.

My advice is to act at the first signs of disgruntlement They may come to you with their problems but more importantly if they don’t. It may not even be affecting the project, but an unhappy team member is never at their best and I believe there is a responsibility there beyond just deliverables and deadlines to help your team members.

Mostly you want to offer to listen and help if they wish. Then, if they want to talk, problem solving based on where the discussion leads. I have had these issues solved by everything from replacing a team member to driving someone to intervention and then on to rehab. But the necessary first (and often only) step in most cases is just making the person aware that I am aware they are out-of-sorts and offer assistance. While I will do what I can to gruntle them, they usually modify their behavior in the team until they become regruntled all on their own with no outside gruntling needed.

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11 months 2 weeks ago #144 by Anne Hunnex

Many times, we try to ignore disgruntled team members, because we don’t want to face the problem or have the difficult conversation. Ignoring the problem doesn’t make it go away, and letting the problem persist will only impact the attitudes of others and hurt team dynamics. I always try to look for the reasons behind a person’s behavior. There has got to be a reason why they act the way they do. The problem is that the emotion or behavior that we are seeing doesn’t tell us much about the source of a person’s issue. I find it is best to take it up with the person in private. Reflect back to that person what you are seeing. “I get the impression from what you said in the meeting that you don’t feel we are moving in the right direction.” Or “I get the feeling that you don’t really want to be part of this team.” Then ask for validation. “Am I right?” This opens the door for that person to explain themselves. First of all, what are they feeling? What emotion are they naming; anger, disappointment, frustration? Second, what is the source or cause of the feeling? Third, is there a solution that can make things better.

The key is not to assume and jump to solution before you know what the problem is. This is the same tactic we use in project planning. Don’t jump to solutions before you do the research. In this case, don’t assume you understand the issue this person is having before you have had the hard conversation.

In terms of solution, sometimes you will not have the authority or ability to solve it on your own. But at least when you know the issue, you can enlist others to help. Following this process you will also have started to build trust with the disgruntled person because you have listened and shown a interest in their problem.

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11 months 3 weeks ago #143 by Clay Rehm

How have you handled disgruntled employees/team members?

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