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Chapter 13. When Team Members Don't Make... > Salvage the Situation - Pg. 151

When Team Members Don't Make the Grade 151 Refer to Chapter 11 for some specific steps that can be taken by team leaders in dealing with personal problems. When the Problem Lies Within the Entire Team Most of the time team problems are caused by ringleaders--domineering team members who in- fluence their associates to follow their agendas. If the team leader can win over the ringleaders, much of the dissension will end. This is not easy. Members of this ilk are usually difficult to persuade. But it's worth a try. Here's how Bonnie, team leader of a customer service team, dealt with Clyde, a team member who dominated her team. Clyde had persuaded several of his associates that they were being treated unfairly when they were asked to learn the jobs of other members. He argued that if every member could do the work of every other member, they wouldn't need as many people and some would be let go. Clyde, as their spokesman, told Bonnie that the members would refuse to take the training. Bonnie could have ordered the training and insisted that all members participate. She could have disciplined or even fired Clyde for insubordination, but she took a different path. She recognized that disciplining Clyde would only exacerbate the situation. She chose to win Clyde over. Over the next few days, she spoke to other team members, who expressed their feelings of insecurity and told her how they admired Clyde for pointing the negative consequences out to them. Bonnie arranged a private meeting with Clyde. She asked him to express all of his concerns about the program and in a calm way refuted most of them. She showed him a plan for expansion of the team's activities that would enable all members to grow. She pointed out how the cross-training was