One day my colleague Patrick’s ace executive assistant Rita gave her two-week notice out of the blue. Patrick was taken by surprise, especially since Rita wasn’t getting a significant raise in pay or benefits. Rita admitted that she was fed up because of an ongoing conflict with another colleague, Tim, who kept barking orders and demanding that she drop what she was doing whenever he needed help on his projects. Over the course of several meetings, Patrick, Rita, and Tim resolved their differences. It was a valuable lesson for Patrick, as it opened his eyes to the fact that he needed to:
- Emphasize cooperation among his team members.
- Provide an outlet to team members caught in ongoing conflicts with one another.
Laying a foundation for working together as a team helps everyone to solve their issues before trouble starts. As always, asking the right questions is the key:”What problems/challenges are we facing as a team?”
- “What opportunities should we take advantage of in the months ahead?”
- “What’s preventing us from working together effectively? How can we be more effective now?”
- “What is our purpose as a team? Are we able to achieve that purpose right now?”
- “Do you feel you can come to me about problems you’re having with another team member?”
- “How can I encourage you to perform better as a team?”