Can Your Team Members Really Change?

Change with team members

You and your team members can change if you all are willing to try.


You work for the perfect company at the perfect job with the perfect distance from your home to the office. The only challenge: you have one annoying team member whom you can’t get along with. You think you have done everything to make things better – talking to them, emailing, having team meetings – and yet you see no movement.

Now, before we go any further, let’s assume you need this person to be on your team. Their function and responsibility is essential to your work. So who needs to change – you or them? The answer is: both of you.

But you’re older and set in your ways. Can your team member and you really change?

Yes! According to  Linda Sapadin, Ph.D,  people can change – but they need guidelines.

3 Things to Consider When Implementing Change

Don’t try and tell the other person how they feel.

When things happen at work or in life, we like to think the other person feels exactly like we do. But you know that isn’t true. So when approaching a problem start with “I”. I would like you and I to be better team members. I want you to know that your actions really hurt my feelings. I would like to put together a leadership team development plan for us and the rest of the team.

Then, shut up and listen. Really listen and let the other person tell you how they feel. This action puts you on the offense, instead of putting your team member on the defense.

 Don’t try to change their habits.

You are not going to implement sweeping changes and you need to ask yourself if this habit is really problematic to your work effort. People are early risers, late risers, bite their nails and talk too much. You aren’t going to change these habits, but if it impacts the productivity of the team, by all means bring it to the attention of the person first and then their supervisor. Give them sometime to adjust, but in the meantime, determine if you and the other team members can do the same.

Don’t try to change their priorities.

We are all busy people with lots of commitments in and out of the workplace. If your team members report to different bosses and/or are on a lot of different teams, it isn’t fair to prioritize their schedule for them. Just because something is important to you, doesn’t mean it is important to them.

Instead, give your team members a lot of headway on a new project. Have once a week status updates. When team building, it is important to communicate often and find out what is on each other’s plate.


 How Does Change Occur?

First, you and your team members have to be aware that change within the dynamics of the team needs to occur. You need to have team awareness that things are not working to the maximum potential of the group.

Second, it is best to tackle one major change at a time. Don’t try and implement too much change or else self-esteem will start to ebb and building trust will not happen.

Third, it takes 21 to 30 days to have change occur. And if the habit or problem is severe, it might take even longer.

How can Fun Team Building Help Your Team Change?

Larry Lipman, the Owner & Facilitator of Atlanta team building organization, Fun Team Building is here to help. Larry’s 24 years of experience coupled with his education makes him the perfect person to help you with your corporate team building! Give Larry a call today at 770.333.3303 to learn more about what he can do for your team!

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