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Chapter 18. Transforming a Work Group In... > Overcoming Members' Resistance to Ch... - Pg. 226

Transforming a Work Group Into a Team 226 3. This can be overcome by careful orientation of members as to the way the team will operate, and by assuring them that mistakes and failures are part and parcel of team growth. Most important is the development of their self-confidence and acceptance of their new role as equal partners with their associates. (How to do this will be explored later in this chapter.) "Just tell me what to do and I'll do it." In many organizations, there are "plodders" who really don't want to strain themselves. All they want is to do what they're told to do during working hours and get home. Don't give up on them. Many of these plodders are very good workers. They may be your best technicians or specialists, who do good work, but whose real interests lie outside the job. Heads Up! Don't take literally what a member tells you about his objections to the team concept. It's often a super- ficial comment that hides a deeper concern. Determine the real reason by careful questioning and lis- tening, and then deal with it. Ken is a good example of this. He probably knows more about the intricacies of computer graphics than anybody on your team. Give him an assignment and leave him alone in his cubicle with his computer, and he'll produce top-notch work. But at meetings he never opens his mouth. When asked questions about his work, he'll respond in detail, but when asked to comment on other team projects, he has nothing to say. What's going on in Ken's mind? He looks upon himself as an artist. He enjoys his work because it's art. He looks upon the other work the team does as peripheral to his creativity and has no interest in it. There's no way his team leader can make him a collaborative team member. People like Ken function better in a traditional environment. Team Builder If there are highly competent specialists on your team who just don't fit in as collaborative members, detach them from the team and work with them as nonteam re sources in their specialized areas. On the other hand, there are members who use this as an excuse to cover up their fear of change. These members can be converted to participating team members by working with them to overcome their concerns.