8. The Care and Feeding of Relationships

At the start of a project code-named FixNet, the ten members of the team were enthusiastic about working together. But as the project progressed, tensions started to surface. One gnawing grievance was that the geographically dispersed team members communicated primarily by e-mail and some team members were convinced that the others weren’t reading their messages.

For example, the team leader sent out biweekly updates to everyone on the team. When team members questioned matters that had already been explained in the updates, he complained that if people weren’t going to read the updates, then he wasn’t going to send them. One team member, when asked about a written procedure she had e-mailed to team members ...

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