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re: How do you deal with difficult team members? VIEW POST

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re: There's significant differences between incompetence, inexperience, and toxicity. It sounds mostly like Person 1 is in the inexperienced category. ...
 

Thanks for your reply!

So Person 1 is actually the most experienced out of all of us, and they are aware of the issues at hand (Persons 2 & 3 have spoken to them a couple of times before).

Person 1 is definitely stressed out with the workload, which is understandable, it's just difficult to try and get a point across when they are not willing to listen to you and the points we try to make so that we can tackle the challenges and make the environment a happier and more positive one.

I personally haven't spoken to them as of yet, I'm very apprehensive as I'm the newest person in the team and don't feel that I have a 'foot to stand on', so to say.

We're an extremely small team, we only have the 4 of us, so, unfortunately, there are no external resources like HR.

 

Definitely tread lightly, and if you can, phrase any suggestions in a way that's aimed at reducing Person 1's stress level, rather than pushing back on what they're asking for.

BAD: "These emergency features are killing the project timeline. I can't get any work done when I'm constantly sidetracked!"

GOOD: "I'm currently working on feature X. I can switch to feature Z, but I'll need an extra day to get X finished. Or, if you're okay with delivering X without the configurable Frob, I can still get it done on time."

Do your best to offer options and solutions, and try to support the team's goals. This is often referred to as "managing up", or "managing your manager." It's a hugely important skill.

But as I mentioned in my other comment, sometimes the situation is intractable, and it's simply time to look for a new gig.

Spot on. I still have a lot to learn about this world we work in, and how to see things from other standpoints, but this helps a lot, thanks!

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