How To Deal With A 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.  

How To Deal With The Victim Card At Work? 5 Effective Tips

How To Deal With The Victim Card At Work? 5 Effective Tips

Conflicts are part and parcel of working with teams. A slight amount of healthy competition even adds to the spirits. However, conflict management can quickly become tedious for managers, especially when dealing with employees who always insist on playing the victim card or victim mentality. So you’ve got an employee who seems to be taking pleasure in using these tactics – always blaming others for their situation, refusing to take ownership of their actions, and constantly seeking sympathy from their colleagues. Knowing how to deal with this type of employee can be challenging as a manager. It may not be easy, but you must make an effort to put an end to this cycle of victimhood.

What is the victim card?

It can be tough being on a team, and sometimes the tension can get too much. That’s when team members resort to playing the victim mentality. It usually refers to a strategy to present themselves as victims in every circumstance and give up responsibility. It’s a strategy used to gain sympathy and attention or to get their way. Sometimes, people use it to justify toxic behavior aimed at others. Manipulators often resort to victimhood to avoid facing the blame for their actions. Playing the victim card is often adopted by people who lack personal accountability and prefer an excellent social perception over honesty. It can be hard to deal with when a team member is always playing the victim card. However, it’s essential to understand when it is being used and take appropriate action. For example, when someone is not taking responsibility for their actions or refusing to listen to others. When you catch someone using the victim mentality, providing them with constructive feedback can be helpful. This will help them understand that their behavior is unacceptable and must change. Sometimes, a team member may not know they’re using the victim card. They may not recognize that they are behaving this way because, subconsciously or not, it works for them. It allows them to distance themselves from the conflict and maintain control. In other words, the victim mentality is a deliberate strategy. In this case, it may be helpful to talk to them about the issue to help them understand and change their behavior. Before diving deep into resolution, we will first see how the behavior impacts the environment.

What are the effects of using the victim card?

The victim card has several adverse effects on the team environment.

Increased stress among employees

First, it can cause tension and resentment. This is because it creates an imbalance in power between the player using the card and those around them. It also makes people feel like they’re constantly being put down or have to fight for everything. In addition, the victim card can lead to a lot of stress.

Productivity reduces

Studies have shown that people using the victim card tend to be less productive in their personal and professional lives. This is because it’s hard to take constructive criticism, and when people are constantly being put down, it becomes difficult for them to improve their performance. Due to these effects, teams that rely heavily on the victim mentality often struggle with high turnover or morale problems.

Harms Team Morale

Using the victim card can reduce team productivity. It removes focus from the task at hand and, instead, forces people to use their energy in unproductive areas. This often leads to negative interactions and low levels of cooperation. The victim card can harm team morale. If used consistently, the victim mentality will eventually wear down everyone on the team.

Desensitizes people toward others

Additionally, using the victim card often leads to desensitization – meaning that team members gradually become less sensitive to other people’s feelings and needs. It is harmful as empathy and kindness are vital to fostering healthy workplace relationships that last long and form the basis of great success.

Prevents collaboration

This can make it difficult for teams to work together effectively as everyone becomes focused on their own agenda rather than collaborating towards a common goal. If people notice someone repeatedly using the victim card, they will avoid teaming up with them.

Makes environment unsafe

Team members constantly taking on the role of the victim often become resentful and hostile. This is because it makes people feel defensive and out of control. It can create an unsafe environment where people don’t feel comfortable speaking up or collaborating. It will create a toxic work environment that is difficult for employees to tolerate. Ultimately, this will lead to problems within the team.

Signs that someone is playing the victim card

Here are some signs that someone is playing the victim mentality:
  • They focus on their injuries or problems without paying heed to issues that others face
  • They don’t accept mistakes and try to shift the blame on others or make excuses
  • They act entitled to special treatment or attention
  • They whine or demand sympathy
  • They refuse to take any responsibility for their actions

How to deal with someone using the victim card?

It can be challenging to deal with someone who always uses the victim card, but it’s important to remember that not everyone is entitled to a positive attitude. This person is often looking for sympathy and validation, and it can be hard to deal with their behavior. Instead of responding aggressively or defensively, try to understand their mindset and offer support instead. If the situation continues to spiral out of control, consider consulting with a professional counselor. However, in the end, it’s important to remember that everyone is different, and there is no one-size-fits-all approach to dealing with someone using the victim card. So, take things step-by-step and be compassionate and understanding towards the person in question.

1. Avoid putting labels

While dealing with someone playing the victim card, you should avoid putting labels on them explicitly. Direct accusations can worsen the issue instead of improving it. Instead, try to keep your mind and have a collaborative approach toward them and help solve their issues.

2. Do not get attached

When helping someone overcome their issue, it is essential to maintain a healthy boundary for your well-being. Otherwise, you are vulnerable to being sucked into their problems and becoming a part of their toxic system. Therefore, take care to listen and offer empathy without getting involved. Moreover, take note not to fall into their manipulative tactics.

3. Try to break the cycle

The victim card works in a cycle that feeds itself. Trying to break it with a knee-jerk reaction will harm your relationship with the person. It would be best if you tried to intervene in the cycle gently. Blaming them straight away will not work. You might have to begin with small questions that lead them to analyze the situation and nudge them to reach acceptance.

4. Protect yourself

Spending a great deal of time with someone who is always playing the victim mentality is sure to take a toll on you as well. Consequently, it would be best if you took care to establish some boundaries to protect yourself from their negative influence. Read here to learn how to spot and avoid toxic people in the workplace. Putting some distance between you and them and limiting your time around them is essential for you. It would help if you always prioritized self-care.

5. Support good behavior

Lastly, and most importantly, you can help someone overcome victim mentality if they have realized that they are frequently using the victim mentality. Supporting someone through change can be an arduous task, especially when it can create personal psychological repercussions. Still, you can make efforts to listen to them without judging and offer commitment through mild but valuable suggestions. Your perspective can be instrumental to their recovery. Continue reading here to learn more about dealing with difficult people at work.


It can be tough to manage when someone on your team always seems to be playing the victim card. Firstly, it’s essential to understand what the victim card or victim mentality is. Further, you have to realize that this can have many adverse effects, including weakening morale and creating division within the team. Fortunately, there are a few things that you can do to deal with someone using the victim card, which the blog has listed. Keep visiting us for more insights on management and leadership! 

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How does playing the victim card affect the work culture?

If a team member frequently plays the victim card at work, it negatively impacts the team. Building relationships is harder in such a scenario. The work environment becomes toxic, resulting in employees losing interest.

What are the signs of a victim mentality?

A few signs of a victim mentality are:
– Blaming others
– Helplessness
– Negative outlook
– Resentment
– Inaction
– Lack of accountability

What is the difference between victim mentality and actual victim?

An actual victim has the concerns that they are mentioning. On the other hand, people with a victim mentality live under the false belief that they are the victim in every situation. Resultantly, they have learned helplessness and a negative outlook on issues.

What creates a victim mentality at work?

A victim mentality at work arises out of unhealthy coping mechanisms. People with a victim mentality are generally trying to avoid feelings of guilt associated with accepting blame and confronting negative situations.

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8 Team Behaviors That Good Managers Love

8 Team Behaviors That Good Managers Love

In the words of Henry Ford, coming together is a beginning, staying together is progress, and working together is a success. Efficient teamwork is a recipe for delightful success. A good team is made of committed members who are willing to give their best for the best of the team. A team manager is the pivot point for any team. A manager can take many steps for better team management. Firstly, they can adopt qualities to become better managers. Then, they can improve the team’s performance by promoting team behaviors that bring excellent results while dissuading others. On the other hand, members work for better team cohesion too! Here are some common team behaviors that managers look for in their teams. As a team member, this is the cheat sheet that you need to swear by.

Top 8 behaviors managers want in team members


Never turn your back! Unless you have a teammate watching over you. You can be put in a vulnerable position at many points as a team member. A good team member will ensure they are safe and secure in such a situation. Being able to be vulnerable around your team is a huge sign of trust, which is essential for seamless and supportive collaboration. A good team is composed of people who support each other in weak moments. They help in making a quick and robust recovery to their earlier position. Mutual trust is what allows all this to happen. Teamwork suffers without belief in a relationship. Hence, a manager should attempt to build trust in their team.


A manager likes to have team members who take responsibility. A member that takes responsibility demonstrates their confidence and puts themselves forward as reliable. Consequently, responsible behavior of team members ensures the manager of their commitment and ability to deliver. Consistently responsible behavior pitches you as a dependable member. They do not have to check you regularly, and you make work easier for the managers. Responsible team members are thus a gem for managers, and you should always strive to be one. Such accountable behavior sets you apart from the rest as a person willing to accept responsibilities and obligations for their actions. Your manager can trust you to achieve deadlines and fulfill your duties. Additionally, accountability in team members helps build trust and allows a smooth workflow. In order to accomplish this, managers can take some steps to build personal accountability in their team.


Commitment to the team’s goals is a basic expectation that any manager will have from you. Therefore, commitment towards the goals is vital for every member to make the best efforts towards success. You can show your commitment to your manager by working hard and smart constantly. Your commitment shows that you give importance to the goals and activities of the team. For instance, actively participating in discussions and bringing new ideas to the table shows your commitment to the team’s success.

Going above and beyond

Managers would love to have employees who do not remain limited to what their job description states. A great team member will take chances and accept the consequences; doing just the bare minimum is not to their taste. Instead, employees who go above and beyond their role’s responsibilities win appreciation from their managers. This means that as a dedicated team member, you should engage with all the aspects of the project your team is dealing with. Rather than simply keeping yourself to your defined role, you can take the initiative to understand the other facets. Additionally, you can contribute to it through your extra expertise and new ideas for improvement.


Teams are not just for talk, are they? At the end of the day, teams are looking for tangible achievements. Managers appreciate members who give them results that are essential for the organization’s success. Your commitment and accountability towards the goals are established when you are seen delivering results. You can also show support by helping others in achieving their goals.


While working in teams, sensitivity towards others is an excellent quality to have. An understanding of the feelings of others makes you a great team player. It also presents you as an approachable, friendly person to your peers. Such people are an asset to the team as they keep a harmonious environment flowing. It becomes all the more critical as the world is now diverse and increasingly interconnected. Therefore, being sensitive to people from varied backgrounds is an essential quality to have. Managers will surely appreciate the positive gust of wind you bring to the team.


Mutual respect is needed in any team for it to function effectively. As a team member, you must respect your teammates and their work. So, it shows that you value the efforts and opinions of others. Respectful behavior must be maintained even when you may not like the other person. Similarly, respect is to be accorded to work done by your organization. Such behavior shows that you are a thoroughly rational and respectful person who isn’t bound by personal choices. It is a mark of professionalism.


Care and consideration towards others is another essential quality in a team player. While working with other people, you must understand and care for their needs and wants. Helping others in time of need is one way of showing this. In addition, having a touch of empathy in your behavior while dealing with others enables you to develop excellent interpersonal relations.


A manager appreciates behaviors that reduce conflicts, create a harmonious environment, and enhance the team’s efficiency. As a member, you should strive to cultivate those within you. Being a great team player is a skill that comes with experience. However, keeping these points in mind can help you hone that skill when working with a team.

Practice time management to become efficient with your teams.

Download the free time management toolkit to access templates and frameworks that get you on top of the game.


What are the 5 behaviors of a successful team?

The key behaviors of any successful team are:
– Trust
– Collaboration
– Ownership
– Accountability
– Result-orientation

What are the behaviors of a good team player?

A good team player collaborates with others to derive results for their team. They are approachable and communicate effectively with the rest of the team. In addition, a good team player ensure that there is little scope of conflict by taking accountability and communicating properly with the rest of the team.

What are successful behaviors?

Successful behaviors in the workplace are those which help teams perform better. These include strong time management habits, healthy conflict resolution practices, little to no micromanagement of team members, active listening, etc. to name a few.

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