- The clown ridicules others, making jokes at their expense. Strategy: Redirect the team member’s attention with serious questions. But don’t try to quash the person entirely—humor is a great team asset as long as teammates are not the butt of jokes.
- The cynic opposes the team in everything and argues past the point of reason. Strategy: Ask the team member to share the “why” behind the attitude. Then challenge the rest of the team to find ways around the problems the team member points out.
- The dominator monopolizes the gathering. Strategy: Avoid eye contact to discourage the team member from continuing a monologue. When the person pauses for breath, redirect the conversation by asking specific team members to share their reactions to what was said.
- The loner withdraws into silence or indifference. Strategy: Draw a loner into the discussion by going around the room asking for input. Ask each team member to write ideas down on paper first—and don’t allow anyone to pass.
- The movie star craves attention and, therefore, continually draws the discussion back to personal accomplishments. Strategy: Minimize distractions by being attentive before and after the meeting—even during breaks. During the meeting, keep your “star” occupied by asking that person to take minutes.
— Adapted from Team Basics: Practical Team Strategies, Kristin Arnold, QPC Press
[Photo credit: www.flickr.com/photos/baltic-development-forum.]