Ever felt like you’ve had as much as you can take with one of your teammates? It appears you just can’t get along with them even though you feel like you’ve tried!
Don’t give up! You may not be able to change your teammate but you do have control over yourself, your actions and your responses which can affect their reactions!
Remember that each person possesses a unique set of attitudes that may differ from yours. Often these personal differences can lead to conflicts but here are a few simple tips that may help alleviate the pain and potentially help you both become better in the situation.
- Keep calm and don’t kill ‘em
No, it’s not a social media meme.
If you’re working on a project and you find that one of your team members isn’t pulling his or her weight, it’s best to discuss the issue before it escalates. If the discussion becomes confrontational, maintain your sanity and wait until you are both clear headed before attempting to raise your concern once more. Grab an objective mediator into the room if that might help.
- Be Positive
If you are willing to have the bad blood between you two resolved, then positivity is key. Assume that your teammate is not the devil’s spawn but has a different perspective. Have a neutral conversation explaining what bothers you and not what you think they are doing. Maybe they took the credit for something you believe you achieved or maybe they make a lot of mistakes and you have to clean up their work. However, they may not know how you feel or what you have been doing to maintain the quality of their work. Don’t use a negative attitude to address conflict, the other party may use the same tone and the issue will be pushed under the rug for another day.
- Be open to Solutions
Ask them to recommend a solution especially if you’ve tried to alleviate the situation and nothing has worked. Be open to ideas other than your own and try to agree to a solution that satisfies both parties involved. Develop an action plan to ensure that the recommended solutions work.
- You’re no Saint
It is important to recognise your own role in a confrontational situation. You may have unknowingly caused the conflict between you and your teammate to reach its tipping point. Maybe you said something bad about them and word got around. It is best not to deny your role in the conflict. You don’t have to be best friends but you do need to be able to work well together. Accept your responsibility, apologise sincerely and aim to do better in the future.
- Get the Team Leader involved
If all else fails, your team leader may need to intervene. You may need to call a meeting between your teammate, yourself and your leader. Discuss your expectations and disappointments. Listen to theirs as well and find a middle ground with the help and supervision of your leader that gets you two working better together and becoming more productive. Keep regular meetings among you three to evaluate progress and tweak actions together along the way to ensure that the progress escalates to resolution.