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Module Homepage:. Contact me: Colman McMahon Class Notes. Assignment Due 09 December, 2009 09 December, 2009 - Internship programme lecture

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module homepage
Module Homepage:

Contact me:

Colman McMahon

class notes
Class Notes
  • Assignment
    • Due 09 December, 2009
  • 09 December, 2009 - Internship programme lecture
    • Mark Deegan and Paul Doyle, DIT School Of Computing
    • KA 3-011 @ 11AM
    • Attendance mandatory
  • 11 December, 2009
    • No lecture (make-up session next week)
  • 14 & 16 December, 2009
    • Assignment Presentations
    • Mandatory
    • Random selection
today s lecture
Today’s lecture...

Team Building (2)

team building 2 conflict
Team Building (2) - Conflict
  • Members who don’t carry their weight
  • Team troublemakers
  • Creating a collaborative atmosphere
  • When team members can’t get along
  • Dealing with and preventing grievances
  • Termination
10 overcoming team discord
10. Overcoming Team Discord
  • Members Who Don’t Carry Their Weight
    • Let the Team Leader Fix It
    • Let Team Members Handle It
  • Team Troublemakers
    • People with Low Self-Esteem
    • Overly Sensitive Team Members
    • Team Members Who Can’t Keep Their Cool
    • The Information Hoarder
    • The Naysayer
    • The Know-It-All
    • The Prima Donna
    • The Peacock
    • The Obnoxious Colleague
members who don t carry their weight
Members Who Don’t Carry Their Weight
  • Let the Team Leader Fix It
    • Person may not have necessary basic skills
    • May not be using skills in right way
    • Low-level of personal expectations (minimum)
      • Performance management to raise standards
      • Establish a plan and timeframe
    • Personal problems
members who don t carry their weight1
Members Who Don’t Carry Their Weight
  • Let Team Members Handle It
    • Encourage positive peer pressure
  • Review team expectations – ensure understanding
  • Conduct an exercise in team building

Q. “What do you expect from your teammates?”

Q. “What can they expect from you?”

  • Encourage team members to assist each other
  • Project Reviews – team & individual performance
team troublemakers people with low self esteem
Team TroublemakersPeople With Low Self-Esteem
  • More likely to complain about their failures rather than their successes
  • Rarely express contradictory opinions
  • Never volunteer to lead discussion
  • Only take charge of project when forced to
  • Leader must help build up self-esteem
    • Focus on member’s successes
    • Positive reinforcement for every achievement
    • Praise progress – be specific; use examples
    • Be positive to good ideas
    • Continuous reminders that they are respected and you have confidence
    • Make sure member can handle assignments
    • Provide training and coaching to ensure success
team troublemakers overly sensitive team members
Team TroublemakersOverly-Sensitive Team Members
  • Most people can take constructive criticism
  • Some people resent any criticism
  • Slightest criticism causes defensiveness
  • Results in over-cautiousness and hesitation (which stifles productivity)
  • Leader must help them overcome their fears:
    • Assure them of their competency and judgement
    • Occasional errors are normal (“to err is human”)
    • Insist on prompt action and decisions
team troublemakers temper temper
Team TroublemakersTemper, Temper…
  • Some workers scream at co-workers and superiors
  • May calm down quickly but upsets everyone (reduces productivity)
  • Leader must deal with temper tantrums
    • After person calms down, have heart-to-heart
    • Point out such behaviour is unacceptable
    • If another outburst occurs, sent person out of room
    • Make clear that next outburst will result in disciplinary action
    • Suggest counselling (or a meeting with HR)
team troublemakers information hoarder
Team TroublemakersInformation Hoarder
  • Some people hold on to information
    • Insecurity
    • Believe “know-how” makes them indispensable
    • Like to look good to boss
  • Results in stalled projects, errors, lack of trust, breakdown in team ethic
  • Leader must
    • Set up a system for information dissemination
    • Explain and require all team members to adhere to policy
    • Enforce policy firmly for sake of project
team troublemakers the naysayer
Team TroublemakersThe Naysayer
  • Some people oppose everything
  • Always some “good” reason for why things can’t be done
  • Very detrimental to team optimism
  • Reasons?
    • Real or perceived past mis-treatment
    • Long-term personality factors
  • Team leader must:
    • Address past wrongs or clear up misconceptions
    • Suggest professional help (outside scope of team leader)
    • Get them to express objections openly
    • Acknowledge their arguments
    • Persuade them to work with you to eliminate the problems they foresee
    • Be part of the solution rather than an additional problem
team troublemakers the know it all
Team TroublemakersThe Know-It-All
  • If it’s not their idea, it isn’t going to work
  • Can have excellent background in the area
  • Leaders should:
    • Insist member prove their point – provide documentation (proof) to back-up statements
    • Have person do research based on their reservations and report on findings
team troublemakers the prima donna
Team TroublemakersThe Prima Donna
  • Some people think certain tasks are beneath them
  • In team situation, people should be prepared to share challenging and routine
  • Leaders should:
    • Rotate routine tasks among all members
    • Do own share of “drudge” work
    • Try to make work more enticing (let them get creative), e.g. work from home, tie in with more exciting assignment
team troublemakers the peacock
Team TroublemakersThe Peacock
  • Some people love to strut and brag
  • Fine occaisionlly but not over and over
  • Leader should:
    • Give them deserved attention (eliminate their public displays)
    • Take time to listen
    • Don’t challenge in front of others (unless egregious)
    • Use their talents (and egos)
team troublemakers the obnoxious colleague
Team TroublemakersThe Obnoxious Colleague
  • Some people feel the need to be nasty, sarcastic, condescending, cruel, etc.
    • “That’s the stupidest idea I’ve ever heard!”
  • Team leader should:
    • Ask them to repeat comments – expose foolishness
    • Repeat comment then ask, “Did I hear you right?”
    • Ask for solutions, e.g. “How would you deal with it?”
disagreements between team members
Disagreements Between Team Members
  • Team members must be willing to work out their differences to ensure harmony
  • Team members should:
    • Listen without interrupting each other
    • Pause before responding (gives you chance to think)
    • Respond calmly (angry tone blocks your message). Anger generates anger, exacerbating disagreement
    • Back up your arguments (go off and get evidence if you have to)
    • Be willing to compromise – both may be right
    • If you can’t settle, bring it to team leader
when team members hate each other 1
When Team Members Hate Each Other (1)
  • Deep-seated, personal antagonisms
  • If situations are not addressed it will affect:
    • Work of antagonists
    • Morale of entire team
  • Team leader must step in and resolve
when team members hate each other 2
When Team Members Hate Each Other (2)
  • Find out why they dislike each other
  • Usually, bitter past conflict & stab in back
  • If possible transfer one or both to different departments
  • If transfer not possible, attempt to get them to make peace
  • If not successful – lay down the law!
    • “If this team is to succeed… Past is past… I’m demanding you work together professionally to meet our goals.”
  • If necessary, follow up with disciplinary action
preventing grievances
Preventing Grievances
  • Very time (and energy) consuming
    • Give regular updates and feedback (+/-)
    • Encourage team members to participate in all aspects of planning and project work
    • Keep open mind about team member’s ideas
    • Only make promises you know you can keep
    • Be alert to minor irritations before they become serious dissatisfactions
    • Resolve problems as soon as possible after hearing about them
  • Can’t please everybody - so don’t bother trying
    • There are times to say “no” to team members
    • Don’t be afraid to do so
8 identify the problems
8. Identify the Problems
  • Problems are going to happen no matter what you do
  • Failing members – failing teams
  • Happens slowly over time
  • Look for early indicators
  • “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”
8 members signal problems
8. Members Signal Problems
  • Drop in productivity
  • Decline in quality
  • Increase in absence and lateness
  • Change from positive to negative attitude
8 team signals problems
8. Team Signals Problems
  • Members put personal agenda ahead of team’s
  • Members pressured to go along with decisions they do not support
  • Some members start “coasting”
  • Some members start nit-picking everything
  • Some members fail to meet deadlines
  • Constant bickering
8 formal action progressive discipline
8. Formal Action – Progressive Discipline
  • Six-step procedure to try and get employees back on track.
    • An informal warning or reprimand
    • A formal disciplinary interview
    • A written warning
    • Probation
    • Suspension
    • Termination

To protect your company from potential legal problems, check any written correspondence with HR/legal before giving to team members.

8 effective reprimands
8. Effective Reprimands
  • When preparing to reprimand someone, to ensure the reprimand is conducted in the most effective manner, study the following guidelines:
  • Time the reprimand as soon as possible after the offence
  • Never reprimand when you are angry
  • Emphasise the what, not the who (don’t make it personal)
  • Begin by stating the problem then ask a questions (don’t begin by saying, “You’re always late!!!”)
  • Listen (ask questions and elicit information)
  • Don’t let interview descend into a confrontation
  • Encourage the team member to make suggestions for solutions
  • Provide constructive criticism
  • Never use sarcasm
  • End your reprimand on a positive note
8 termination the last resort
8. Termination – The Last Resort
  • Members should never be surprised when fired after progressive discipline
  • They were told at every step what the next step would be
  • Terminating employees must be done sensitively and with full awareness of legal issues (beyond scope of this lecture)
  • Usually an upsetting procedure for all parties


  • Review all documents so you are fully aware of all reasons and implications
  • Review past problems you have had and how you have dealt with them
  • Review any personal problems you are aware the member has
  • Review any problems you have had in firing other employees
  • Check company’s policy manual or discuss company rules with HR
8 termination the interview
8. Termination – The Interview
  • Relax before the meeting. If you have done your job correctly you have given the person every chance to improve… no need to feel guilty
  • Do it diplomatically
  • Do not use as an opportunity to tell the person off – it is a business decision not personal
  • Use a private office or conference room
    • If person becomes belligerent or breaks down you can walk out
  • Most fired employees expect it and don’t cause problems
    • However, if they argue, keep cool and do not get into an argument
  • Good idea to have another person in meeting (witness)
    • HR or union representative
    • Keeps meeting on track
    • Future lawsuits and claims based on false statements
today s lecture1
Today’s lecture...

Team Building (2)

  • Members who don’t carry their weight
  • Team troublemakers
  • Creating a collaborative atmosphere
  • When team members can’t get along
  • Dealing with and preventing grievances
  • Termination
class notes1
Class Notes
  • Assignment
    • Due 09 December, 2009
  • 09 December, 2009 - Internship programme lecture
    • Mark Deegan and Paul Doyle, DIT School Of Computing
    • KA 3-011 @ 11AM
    • Attendance mandatory
  • 11 December, 2009
    • No lecture (make-up session next week)
  • 14 & 16 December, 2009
    • Assignment Presentations
    • Mandatory
    • Random selection