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June 14, 2012 / compassioninpolitics

How do groups effectively deal with disruptive people on project teams

What an organization decides to do to help resolve such issues would probably depend on at least 5 factors:
1. Level of disruption created (ie overall impact of disruption)
2. Motive (ie why are they doing it)
3. Quantity (or length of behavior? how long have they been engaging in this behavior)?
4. How critical is the timing?
5. Can they change? will they change? (and ultimately do they want to change? which is a motive question)

Assuming the person wants to change….and the organization can deal with the extra energy required for the change at that juncture with sacrificing mission critical objectives or relationships:
1. Teach ways of resolving conflict
2. Creating a culture of team and achievement (including team building)
3. Coaching and goal setting (including time)
4. Creating norm clarity. For instance, by providing a ladder approach to development toward team goals. (so it can be more of a step by step process rather than a yes or no question).
5. Peer sanctioning (this isn’t quite the right word–a number of peers giving feedback that helps the person understand how their actions are effecting people around them. It wouldn’t be a full 360 review, however)
6. Creating clear accountability
7. Rewards & punishments
8) Creation of institutional reminders and cues (an extension of the culture piece)
9. Relocate the person so they aren’t working with the current team
10. Follow the established institutional roles in terms of HR and conflict resolution (my guess these can run the gamut in terms of clarity and flexibility)
11. External or impartial mediation or resolution (presumably with an agreement of some sort drawn up for accountability)
12. And as a last resort: Throwing the bums out (this is a bit of a joke…although not a very good one…)

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