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Team Building Includes People Problems

Unless you have a team of robots, your team is inherently wired to have some level of discord. It’s human nature. We can’t help ourselves. We just don’t get along with our team mates all the time.

Project managers all over the world are scratching their heads and gnawing knuckles when their people don’t get along. Dealing with people conflicts is built into the job description of every project manager yet so few are trained to find powerful and complete solutions.

My advice to them is to sit and meditate for a few minutes. Ask yourself, “What’s the real root of the problem?” When you are able to step back from any conflict you may be facing, the real problem is more likely to be revealed to you.

When Zack and Sally don’t get along with the rest of their team, it may not be obvious why although everyone else on the team usually provides their own theory. Often when we step back, we get a different perspective. That “stepping back” activity, which is mostly mental, is a way to disengage while observing at a deeper level.

I’ve seen it over and over. A project manager has two (or more) people who interfere with the health of the team and the PM makes a decision to ignore them, to the detriment of the team, or take a stricter stance on rule enforcement. Either of those responses are not in the best interest of building an effective team.

The following slides show what I mean.

Using a Games-Way-of-Thinking is the methodology of asking a different question, using a different approach to people problems.

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