Toxic Team Members - What to do?


How does one manage a reportee who is engaging in activities detrimental to the unity of the team? 

Any ideas on how to address and manage the issue/person?

Team Building
Team Management
Negative Thought Patterns
Performance Management
Khalid Raza
13 months ago

5 answers


Be a leader and talk to them. be friendly but explain that their actions are detrimental to the performance of the team. Ask why there are issues and try to address them. Look for all options to solve the issues but, bottom line, take them out if there's no other option.

Sometimes leadership requires hard measures.

David Cottrell
13 months ago
Points taken David Cottrell - Khalid 13 months ago
  1. “Conversation” including 360 feedback.
  2. ”Discussion” including your observations.
  3. ”Warning” with potentially a PIP if you believe the behavior can be changed.
  4. ”Dismiss” candidate.

Have everything documented.

Vic Clesceri
13 months ago
The negative conversations reach the managers through grapevine where the source's confidentiality is also important. - Khalid 13 months ago

Negotiate or persuade the person in a way that they can understand (i. e. direct or subtle approach). Sell them on thinking and behaving in a way that is conducive to reaching team goals. Give the person a chance to align themselves with the team. Provide a time frame for this change to take place. After the allotted time has passed, reevaluate whether the person is a help or hinderance. If one person continues to be detrimental, to the whole, perhaps they would do better elsewhere.

Jennifer Hall, PhD
13 months ago
Thanks Jennifer - seems like an adoptable approach. - Khalid 13 months ago

First you have to have some authority. If you dont and its a peer dont be afraid to state the problem clearly with no personal references. Keep it objective. Even better ask a question hat compels the person to answer or avoid. THat way youll bring attention to the problem.

Robert Hafetz MS
13 months ago
This case is pertaining to a reportee - Khalid 13 months ago

These conversations are uncomfortable but incredibly powerful for the overall team. If a toxic team member remains in that state for too long, then the culture of your local team is impacted.

I have approached these conversations with clear examples to provide context that demonstrated the actual outcome. "When you did/do this (example)..... the person/team felt, observed or heard this (actual impact)" Sometimes people don't realize the impact of their actions or words. I have found this to be especially true of very technical people. At any rate, having real examples is incredibly helpful.

Hopefully the person will listen and take a pause or act differently. If not, then it becomes a performance conversation as opposed to a coaching conversation. Document everything.

Lea Sims
13 months ago
The problem with this question is there is no context - Robert 13 months ago

Have some input?