The Non-Participating Team Member

It goes without saying that team work should involve every member evenly. It does not mean that everyone should do the same, but each one should receive a task, a piece of work for which he or she fits most of all. That is why it is not a way out to exclude one member and to take more work yourself. To refuse the member or to complain to the instructor without taking an effort is not the best behavior for a leader, as I see it. Hence this is the option I am least likely to choose. First of all I will try to speak with the member who is not pulling his or her weight and try to understand what he is not satisfied with. I will try to motivate him and provide assistance if he or she needs it, but not do all the work on my own. I think that all the members are interested in good cooperation, and of course it is difficult when one member is sinking the boat. It seems to be easier to get rid of a weak link, but no one will learn anything useful then. We should try to solve the problems together, and it is likely that I will consult other leaders who may have more experience or another vision on the third hand. Besides, I think it is a good decision to attract the other members of my team to problem-solving as well.

I will try to explain to them that they should not show their rejection, but try to be friendly and understanding instead. And only then, if conversation and motivation do not work, we will have to remove the member away from the team.

Topic 9.2: The Role of Devil’s Advocate.
It is seems natural that the role of devil’s advocate has its benefits and vices as well. On the one hand, to take on such a role you need to be rather careful and witty enough to keep in mind the arguments of all the parties and to keep skeptical to argue. On the other hand, not everyone can appreciate this role and have tolerance to argue with such a devil’s advocate. I consider this role is however rather important to have in a team, because it helps to keep fit in logical thinking and often lets to see the situation from another point of view. Besides, it is significant for a leader to have his own opinion and to be able to defend it, but even if he defends some argument not because he is in favor of it, he provokes further thinking of the team and prevents it from one-side assessment.

When the devil’s advocate challenges some position, looks for some holes in evidence and lack of arguments, he makes us distract from what we have already admitted and try to understand the situation from another point of view. Therefore, it is usually beneficial to have a leader with such skills. On the other hand, when a person misuses the role of devil’s advocate and it does not bring to constructive decisions, it becomes annoying and just takes away precious time. Sometimes it can even result in useless quarrels and destruction of the whole team, and then it is rather hard to stop this destructive process. Keeping balance is the best way out.

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