Empowering leadership in a team

Empowering team leader

An acquain­tance of mine works for a lar­ge public insti­tu­ti­on. She recent­ly told me how dif­fi­cult team work has beco­me due to an over­sen­si­ti­ve col­le­ague. In fact, the situa­ti­on in her team has beco­me so unbe­ara­ble, that after a vaca­ti­on she had lost all moti­va­ti­on to return to her job. All attempts so far to resol­ve the situa­ti­on have fai­led, becau­se the per­son in ques­ti­on refu­ses to talk. This is a good exam­p­le, I think, for how important it is for a team to func­tion as a „sys­tem“, a social orga­nism, in order to work productively.

What should be done?

Tog­e­ther we reflec­ted on what should be done to ease this dif­fi­cult situa­ti­on. We figu­red out that res­truc­tu­ring the team’s phy­si­cal work­places would bring some reli­ef. In my view, the team lea­der, a woman, should assu­me respon­si­bi­li­ty to impro­ve the situa­ti­on. Howe­ver, she needs to pre­vent a situa­ti­on whe­re the over­sen­si­ti­ve col­le­ague is labe­led „the pro­blem“ and ost­ra­ci­zed. I would advi­se the team lea­der to con­sult with all rele­vant actors and then draw up a con­cre­te plan for what to do, asking manage­ment for sup­port if necessary.