Someone on my team is being difficult to work with. What should I do?

Although we can’t control other people, we can control how we respond to them when they’re being disagreeable or unresponsive. Follow the advice below to overcome these challenges and move forward together productively.

  • Use your team agreement. Complete this exercise with your team before making more creative decisions. This will help the team define your shared goals and create the best conditions for effective collaboration going forward. Download the agreement here.
  • Check out these communication tips. Using some of the phrases suggested in this article will help you express yourself with humility, rather than frustration or disappointment. Test them out when when you disagree with others, or when things aren't going to plan.  
  • Keep communication open. If someone is being unresponsive or causing difficulties, don’t be tempted to split the group and avoid them. Keep including them in any messages, email threads or calls, so there’s every opportunity for them to stay involved and get aligned with the team.  
  • Involve yourself. If you can’t come to a team meet because you’re in a different location, designate another team member to video call you so you can participate. Delegate someone to take and send notes to the group ahead of time – this helps finalise any decisions made.
  • Set clear boundaries. As you approach your deadline, don’t be afraid to clarify next steps so everyone knows how decisions are being made with or for them. For example, “if we don’t hear from you by this date, we’ll assume everyone agrees and move ahead with this decision”. This will motivate everyone to contribute and maintain momentum. 

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