Tips to Manage Challenging Team-Members at Work

Posted in Emotional Intelligence, Insights, Motivational, News

Do you ever procrastinate at work, putting off something you hope will go away? Sometimes we avoid team members when we should take action to maintain those relationships.


Some situations involving team members seem too daunting to manage. However, we should deal with them immediately to avoid having our inaction impact our relationships, professionalism and ultimately, those around us.

Tips to Manage Challenging Team-Members at Work, Marshall Connects, Ontario

How to develop this mindset at work:

A supervisor requests that you work on a project with someone from your team with whom you don't have a strong relationship and don't want to work with them. However, saying "no" isn't an option.

Generally, we expect employees to have good relationship management skills, but that's not always the case.  In reflection, most of us would agree that we would choose not to work with people if given a choice.

How to make challenging situations work:

When dealing with a difficult team member, try the following tips to help you navigate interactions.

  • Use self-awareness and self-management skills to develop a plan.
  • Consider how your team member may be feeling about working with you.
  • Use social awareness skills to empathize with your team member.
  • Put yourself in their shoes and consider the situation from their perspective.

Why taking control of your emotions is critical:

During interactions with a challenging individual or team member, be aware of your emotions and follow these suggestions:

  • Don't allow your emotions to take over during discussions and decision-making.
  • Observe their body language and take cues from them.
  • Actively listen and observe both verbal and non-verbal messages that encourage the conversation to flow.
  • Establish common ground by first asking your team member about their preference and then share your choices for managing the project.
  • Consider offering to manage some pieces of the project independently and others collaboratively.

Once you work through a few of these situations, you'll be more confident and better equipped to move forward. Not to mention you'll achieve synergy and build relationships with your team members rather than making emotionally taxing decisions to avoid the inevitable in your work or home environment. Be sure to check out many more motivational blogs here.


This article was originally published on May 26, 2018, and has been updated (May 2021).

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