Projects in a crisis?
A coaching program
4. Solving problems within the team
Sometimes team problems trouble a project. Team members do not work well together due to a hidden conflict. However, on the surface, they act as if nothing were wrong.
The first step on the way to solve such a conflict is to surface it. Often rational reasons are given for one's own behaviour instead of naming the real (emotional) causes. It is the coach's job to help uncover the root of the problem. After that, solutions are often obvious.
A project manager was not happy with the performance of one of her team members, who had a key position in her project. Several discussions between both of them and the team member's superior didn't improve the situation. During a coaching session the root cause of the conflict could be unearthed. It was about an affront the project manager had inflicted upon her team member in the past. After airing the problem the team member worked out how far the project manager had offended him deliberately and the project manager could apologize. After this it was rather easy to agree on a change in behaviour. The performance problems were resolved.