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Chapter 10. Overcoming Team Discord > Team Troublemakers - Pg. 114

Overcoming Team Discord 114 When you present new ideas to negative people, get them to express their objections openly. Tell them, "Those are interesting points and as we move into this new program, let's carefully watch for those problems. But let's give this new concept a try. Work with me on it, and together we'll iron out the kinks." The Know-It-All This is the team member who thinks he has all the answers to all the problems. If it's not his idea, it isn't going to work. Often this member may have excellent background in the area involved and does have ideas that can be useful. But in most cases he only thinks he's right but is way off. Here are two suggestions to help deal with those who think they know it all and help them benefit from those who truly have the answers: · Insist that the member prove his point. Ask him to provide data to back up his statements--facts and figures, sources of information, documentation. If it's all in his head, he will backtrack rapidly. · If you feel the person has good ideas, give her a significant role in the project. Have her research the areas in which she has reservations and report on her findings. Enlist her assistance in training less knowledgeable members in areas of her expertise. The Prima Donna This is the member who thinks some of the work assigned to her is beneath her dignity to do. "I'm a marketing specialist, not a clerk. Somebody else should keep those records." In a team, everybody has to share in both the challenging projects and the routine work. This should be made clear at the outset and be reinforced from time to time. Following are some ways to deal with this: · Rotate routine tasks among all team members. · Do your own share of "drudge" work. It may not be fun for you either, but you set a good example for the prima donnas. · Make the job more enticing. True, it's not always possible to enrich drudge work, but by giving the member some leeway in performing the job, it can become more desirable. For example, allow the member to work at home on an assignment or tie in the necessary routine work with a more challenging assignment. FYI The kid who was the class clown in school is likely to be the team clown on the job. Back then, he or she had the class in stitches with his humor, but could be nasty in playing tricks on the teacher and classmates. The team clown can lighten the boredom of a meeting or break the tension in the team with humor. But beware if the humor is barbed and sarcastic and is aimed at a teammate or the team leader.