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Chapter 11. Maintaining Harmony Within t... > The Leader as a Counselor - Pg. 126

Maintaining Harmony Within the Team 126 Why did Rochelle take an immediate dislike to Stan? Psychologists say that this reaction occurs because something about this person subconsciously reminds the other of some unpleasant past experience. Something about Stan (his haircut, the manner in which he speaks, a mole on his left cheek) reminds Rochelle of a third-grade bully who made life miserable for her that year. So she hates him. These factors, called minimal cues, trigger long-forgotten subconscious memories that still influence our reactions to people. If a team member complains that he or she can't work with an associate because "the chemistry is all wrong," suggest that the complainer do the following: · Analyze why this dislike exists. Answer these questions: Why don't I like working with this per- · · · · · · · son? Is this a personal problem or a job-related problem? it's work related, try to resolve the differences by discussing the problem openly and, if needed, calling on the team leader to clarify the differences. it's personal, it may well be the minimal clues that were noted above, or it may be the way that person works, dresses, or talks that bothers you. Once you identify a reason, try to deal with it. Look at that person more objectively. Next time you're assigned to work on a project with him or her, decide that at the first meeting you will keep an open mind toward that person--just for the duration of that meeting. Stop letting your feelings get in the way. Make an effort to overlook those annoyances for the duration of the meeting. If you disagree with her ideas, deal with it calmly and rationally--not angrily and emotionally. Try to get over your dislike by finding things about the person you do like. Win that person over as a friend. Find something nice to say to him or her. Sometimes the reason for the dislike is the manner in which the other person treats you. Keep your cool. Don't let anything he does or says rile you. Often when such people realize that their actions don't really stir up their victims, they move on to other people. If he or she is harassing you to the point of keeping you from performing your job, call it to the attention of the team leader. When you have to work with someone you dislike, make an effort to find something you can like about the person: job skills, sense of humor, or a personality trait, for example. Focus on the good point(s). You'll soon forget the intangible factor that generated your dislike. The Leader as a Counselor It takes the coordinated effort of all team members to keep your team operating at optimum capacity. It takes only one member of the team who isn't functioning effectively to prevent your team from achieving its objectives. As coach of the team, you must identify problems in their early stages and correct the situation before it mushrooms into a major problem. Your tool: counseling . Team Terms