All seemed to be clear and understood when the team met, but the plan all goes wrong. Deadlines are missed, or a part of the project remains underdeveloped. No one seems to care.
The above words describe a passive-aggressive team. Passive-Aggressive teams simply fail to deliver on expectations put forth at earlier stages of projects. Dealing with such groups can be challenging, and such issues only go away when they are addressed.
Here are three management pointers for handling the passive-aggressive team:
- Look in the Mirror. In order to understand the "why" behind "what went wrong", one must first look in the mirror. It is important to look at what one personally accomplished, and what one did not accomplish, but it goes beyond that: it is also important to consider if something was done to annoy other team members, or if something could have been done to improve working conditions amongst the members of a team.
- Communicate. Passive-aggressive behavior can occur when people do not feel like they have a voice. Often, those with louder voices seem to have a bigger part in what goes wrong—or right—in a project. Those who are closest to the work understand potential success and failure. Team players who do not hear all voices involved may not see stumbling blocks, and possible opportunities for success. Also let the team evaluate its own behavior, and discuss possible areas of improvement. Open communication and feedback should be fostered.
- Align Expectations. Understand what went right, and what went wrong with the project by breaking the project down into smaller pieces. Inquire about the goals of the project, and how elements of the project were designed to accomplish those aims. Analyze why those objectives weren't met. Decide how the team could reach those goals more efficiently.
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