team building and leadership expert michael cardus

Generally there are 12 types of team members that can become difficult. It is imperative that you 1. Try to figure out the team members behavior; 2. Look for cooperation and the positive side of the behavior and build on that; 3. Try the suggested ideas for ameliorating the negative sides of the behavior; 4. Treat the person as a competent adult due your full respect and attention.

12 Types of Difficult Team Members


The Legalist: Everything the team does MUST follow the rules, exactly as they are stated.
(-) Uncompromising, Stubborn
(+) Enforces procedures and ensures things are done right
  • Look for help from the team and peers. With this behavior you will need some assistance to ease the Legalist into finding compromises of rigidity to the rules. Chances are they know this about themselves.
  • Use open ended questions like “What if we didn’t …?” “In what ways might we complete … and still follow procedures? Attempt to work with them to see ways to stay within sufficient procedures while still moving the team forward.
  • Use brainstorming with the team to generate solutions. This person needs to see that alternative paths may remain within the procedures, sometime brainstorming with the team will generate alternative paths.
  • Assign them tasks that require strict adherence to the rules. If this is what they are good at then assign them tasks and goals that need to fit procedures and rules. They may even be able to look at existing team work and determine how it “fits the procedures”.

 What do you think?

Have you had, or if you had ‘The Legalist’ on your team what are some ways that you can keep them offering ideas and remaining engaged in the team process?

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