27
7
Dealing with Problem
People on Teams
PURPOSE:
1. To identify the types of behavior that interferes with effective team
meetings.
2. To develop specific techniques for dealing with problem people on
your team.
GROUP SIZE:
Since this activity is designed for a team training workshop, the size of
the group is limited only by the space available and the ability of the
leader to handle large groups; works best with a group of up to 20.
TIME:
1 to 1½ hours
PHYSICAL
SETTING:
Table and chairs arranged in seminar style or in a U-shape.
MATERIALS:
A copy of Handling Problems in Team Meetings for each person.
PROCESS:
1. Explain the purpose of the activity and distribute the handout. Ask
each person to complete the exercise alone.
2. Ask for volunteers to indicate how they would handle each type of
behavior. Probe for specific words or actions. Paraphrase their
responses to let them hear how it sounds.
3. Conclude the session by presenting a list of interventions for
dealing with dysfunctional behavior in groups (e.g., listen,
set/enforce norms, negotiate, confront).
VARIATIONS:
1. Form sub-teams and assign one or two behaviors to each team to
discuss and develop interventions.
2. Simulate a team meeting and ask participants to role play several
of the behaviors. Other team members are asked to respond to
the problem behavior during the simulation.
3. A related activity is Activity 18, Freeze Frame: Dealing with
Problem Behaviors in Teams.
50 Activities for Team Building
29
Handling Problems in
Team Meetings
Problem
Behaviors
What Would You
Say or Do?
1. Silence—member does not participate.
2. Overly long comment.
3. Too much humor or wisecracking.
4. Consistently arrives late.
5. Consistently leaves before the meeting
is over.
6. Sidetracking (comments are way off
subject).
7. Rushes team to a quick decision or to end
meeting too fast.
8. Engages in side conversations.
9. Monopolizes the discussion.
10. Introduces personal problem or concern.

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