How do you get through to someone who is talented but consistently hard to work with?

Getting alignment can be hard. I like to use a "Hopes and Dreams" exercise to have an open conversation. This can be run with a single person or a whole team. Below are a few key questions for all parties to write down alone and then get together to compare and talk through. There are no right answers. Change the questions/format to fit your needs. The goal is to build empathy for each other.

9 action items

  • 1. My role is...

    Defining your own roles from your perspective can help shed light on why a team member may be behaving in a certain way. This may be a good time to agree on the key characteristics of your respective roles.

  • 2. Expectations of me by others are...

    What burdens are you carrying? Are they realistic?

  • 3. Expectations for myself are...

    Learn about the internal standards you have for yourself and how that changes your behavior.

  • 4. Needs/wants from the team/partner are...

    What support are you expecting? What kind of communication style do you prefer?

  • 5. Professional needs/wants...

    Do you have the tools/environment/time/space that you need to be successful? You may not be able to change all of these. Calling them out will help build empathy with others.

  • 6. Personal success is...

    Knowing what is important to you/others will give you awareness about how to navigate tricky ownership situations. Learn when to give and seek praise at the appropriate times.

  • 7. What I want to learn is...

    This is your opportunity to connect with someone who has something to teach you or has the ability to support your learning. Commend each other on your drive to improve. Also good to be aware of too many/unrealistic learning goals. It is not wrong to be hungry, but you can ask yourself/each other questions about priority.

  • 8. Worst thing that could happen...

    Call out your fears. Be aware of how fear motivates you/others to act.

  • 9. What risks exist?

    Personal, professional, problem space risks? What can you do to mitigate those risks together?

Did you find this answer helpful?

We don't share your name with your response

{{poll.secondary_options.title}}

Select all that apply