Dealing with struggling team member

How To Deal With A Struggling Team Member?

When a team member is struggling, it can be challenging to know what to do. I am sure you would have found yourself in this situation in your career already. If not, wait for it. It will come to you. It is natural to feel tempted to give up on them and hope they will miraculously pull themselves together in these situations. On the other hand, you might be inclined to do everything in your power to help them get back on track.

If you notice that one of your team members is struggling to meet expectations, it’s essential to take action. This could mean anything from encouraging and motivational words to constructive feedback and suggestions for improvement. Doing so can not only help the team member rebound but also set an excellent example for the rest of the employees. Acting in a supportive manner helps keep morale high and ensures that everyone is working towards the same goal. If a team member is struggling, you must address the issue as soon as possible so that everyone can move forward in a positive direction.

More often than not, the problem is self-confidence. The team member may be suffering from low self-esteem or have low confidence in their abilities. One way to deal with this situation is to let them handle it independently and figure it out. Instead, more proactive or engaged managers will intervene to help the team member navigate this situation. After all, it will impact their team’s performance in the long run. Luckily, there are steps that you can take as a manager that can help a struggling team member to build self-confidence.

Here is a more detailed piece on building your own and your team’s confidence in this situation.

When an employee goes through such a phase, they need the manager’s compassion. At this stage, if the team member feels judged, they will never gain back their confidence. Think from their perspective for a minute. You are assessing their performance. They are trying to prove to you that they are worth being on your team. Your compassion will be the start of confidence for them. It will create lasting trust and loyalty on their side. For some managers, being compassionate comes naturally. For others, you may have to learn to be compassionate.

Read this if you want to dig deeper into the specifics of being compassionate.

The power of positivity is often undermined in such situations. I understand you are also under pressure to deliver on the team’s objectives. But think for a moment. If you don’t solve it now, the overall team’s performance will get dragged. Isn’t it worth investing some time and energy into building confidence for your struggling team member? In this situation, you and your other team members also need positivity. This is where Affirmations come to the rescue.

The word “affirmation” is derived from the Latin meaning “to make firm or strong.” Affirmations are like software updates for your brain. These are constructive statements we deliberately and consistently say to ourselves to create a positive psychological response. And they work surprisingly well! Affirmations can help an individual stay motivated and focused on their goals. So, they are not only relevant for your team but also relevant for you as a manager.

Here are a few samples of Affirmations and the situations you can use them in.

In essence, it is easy to take the easy way out and give up on an individual trying hard to prove themselves to you. But that may only give you a short-term relief of knowing that you have gone past the situation. The more rewarding feeling is when you help a team member get back on the performance track. The benefits that you will reap will be much more intense and prolonged.  

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