When It’s Just NOT Working with Your Team Member

Posted by Kristin Arnold on May 1, 2024

not working with your team member

Team members often need “coaching” from the team leader and their teammates. It’s a normal phenomenon for people new to a team or to a task that ranges from instructing, guiding, and inspiring them to be truly empowered to accomplish the task.

But even with coaching, what if you don’t think they are up to the task?

When do you let it go? Give up? Recognize that it’s NOT WORKING?

I keep thinking about this quote from my colleague, Alan Weiss:

When Marshall Goldsmith and I wrote Lifestorming (John Wiley) we discussed our joint experience: if someone can’t perform after 30 days of singular focus, they probably won’t improve without help. And if they can’t improve in 90 days even with that expert help, then the task is probably not right for them and their talents (such as my trying to sing). This is why I’m skeptical of ongoing, never-ending therapy. There comes a point where it clearly isn’t working and more of it isn’t the answer.

Weiss has a point. It’s NOT working when you think you are more therapist than teammate. When they have been given “expert help” and they don’t listen to the expert(s) and/or don’t apply themselves. When they have focused all their energy on accomplishing the task and yet it is still sub-par.

It is NOT WORKING. I realize this is a tough call, but honestly, it is time for a change. Find something else that the team member CAN do – or perhaps you have the wrong person on the proverbial bus. Time to change buses!

Related Articles:

Try These Techniques to Influence Team Members

Overcome the Challenge of Engaging Team Members

When to Delegate and When to EMPOWER a Team Member

KRISTIN ARNOLD, MBA, CSP, CPF|Master has been facilitating meaningful conversations between executives and managers to make better decisions and achieve extraordinary results for 25+ years. She's a leading authority on moderating panel discussions and passionate about finding the perfect olive to complement a vodka martini.

Skip to content