A manager said, “I have a good team but two members seem to oppose any significant suggestion I make.”
“Are they in agreement with each other when opposing your suggestions?”
“Not usually. They seem to have their own agendas.”
“Do you ever make concessions to them?”
“Yes. I have accepted modifications, even when I thought it might weaken the plan, to get their support.”
“What do other team members say when one of the opposers argues against your plan?”
“Not much. I think they are intimidated. Some tell me privately they support my version.”
“Is your current handling of the situation working?”
“No. The opposers still want to argue. Some projects are being delayed. I sense frustration building among other members.”
Unfortunately, many otherwise good teams include a member or two who are anti-team—uncooperative, argumentative, self-serving, controlling.
It is almost always a mistake to accommodate anti-team members, as they see cooperation as a weakness to be exploited.
If an anti-team member cannot be removed, it is usually better to simply acknowledge the anti’s position and move forward undeterred with what the leader thinks is better. Explanations and conciliations seldom satisfy anti-members; they do extend meetings and annoy cooperative team players.