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How to deal with difficult team members?

In every project I manage, I always run into difficult team members, you known, the know-it-all and don't-want-to-listen-to-any-word-you-say kind of team member. Managing these difficult people takes a lot my time and energy. I'm sure that other project managers also face the same problem, so how do they usually deal with it?
asked 10 years ago by anonymous

1 Answer

Here are some tips that you need to do. I've listed them in order, so if one fails, you move to the next...

- Talk to the team member: Try to understand why he's behaving this way, if doesn't want to say why, then you should tell him that his negative behavior is affecting the project and you need him to work on his attitude a bit. You should be careful and soft when you talk to him.

-  Talk to his functional manager: Sometimes team members become "difficult" because they just don't want to accept that you are telling them what to do and/or they think that you don't have technical leadership. If you talk to that team members' functional manager then the latter might rectify the situation.

- Ask to get him out of the project: If the previous step fails, then you should ask for a replacement resource, as the difficult team member is becoming an unproductive and disruptive team member, and is harming the project.

- Reduce his tasks to almost a null level: This is a last resort, if the person is doing nothing and management is OK, then give him nothing: reduce his tasks and give him very stupid and tedious tasks.
answered 10 years ago by MaplePM (46,940 points)

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