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10 Types of Troublesome Team Members - GoLeanSixSigma.com

Have a suggestion of your own? Please share it with us in the comments below and it may be added to our infographic above!

We need the support of others to make Lean Six Sigma process improvement (or any change) possible. But sometimes, we encounter challenges in getting team members or stakeholders to support our efforts. Here are 10 Types of Troublesome Team Members.

Stay tuned for help on how to manage change with each type of troublesome team member (we’ll update this post frequently).

General Best Practices for Troublesome Team Members

  • Establish Ground Rules: Share what they are, why important, some examples of some favorite ground rules and most importantly – enforce the ground rules!
  • Interventions (Before or After Meetings): Address the team member directly before or after a meeting.
    • Before Meetings: Share what will be discussed and ask for their support. Or, you can ask them how you need them to contribute.
    • After Meetings: Ask them how they thought the meeting went and how they thought they were perceived by others. Then share what your perceptions were of their behavior and then have a discussion about what could be done differently.

1. Jump-to-Solution Joey

No time to waste on analysis for this guy – problem solved! For the moment…

2. Disengaged Debbie

She might show up, she’s technically present, but you get the sense she’s just waiting for the latest thing to go away. 

3. Corporate-Climber Cliff

You know him: he’s always looking in the corporate mirror, working that personal agenda and looking for the next rung. 

4. Tyrant Tim

Watch out as the topic gets hijacked and suddenly it’s his way or the lonesome highway. 

5. Blah-Blah Betty

You’ve been in meetings with this person. There’s a lot of rewording, restating, revisiting, and suddenly, time’s up!

6. Silent Sam

You’ve met him. Never contributes during meetings, but ready to give you an earful once they’ve over. 

7. Negative Nancy

You’re familiar with her vocabulary: “Been there. Tried That. No money. No support. It’ll never work. Next!” 

How to Manage Change With Negative Nancy

  • Be clear when letting her know the higher purpose of what you’re trying to do – answer the question “for the sake of what?”
  • Actively listen to what she’s saying – learn about her resistance
  • Write down her comments on a Flipchart or post-it note to confirm you heard her
  • Invite her to participate in a Process Walk, building a Process Map and conducting a Fishbone Analysis
  • Involve her where possible to increase her sense of ownership of the change
  • When Negative Nancy says something pessimistic try using the 5 Whys to get to root of her mindset
  • Keep in mind that your actions can help turn Negative Nancy into Empowered Emily!

Webinar: Here’s how to manage change with Negative Nancy.

8. Texting Ted

You know this guy, eyes focused down, thumbs moving, glancing up occasionally. He’s not quite out, but never really in. 

9. Busy Bonnie

She’d love to help you, really, but unlike you, she’s got real work to do! 

10. Slippery Sue

Says yes to everything, but when rubber meets the road, where did she go? 

More Troublesome Team Members

Here are some other Types of Troublesome Team Members that were shared by attendees on our webinar “How to Manage Change With Negative Nancy“.

  • Too Busy Becky
  • That Won’t Work Wanda
  • Not-Responsive Ned
  • Silent Bob
  • Old School Suzy
  • Dastardly Danielle
  • Not My Job Jake

Have a suggestion of your own? Please share it with us in the comments below or vote for one of the Types listed (in More Troublesome Team Members) to to be added to our infographic above. We’ll then share tips on how to work best with them!