From the high school Spanish club to Fortune 500 companies, there are some people who make work less productive and less enjoyable for everyone else involved. It’s good to be able to spot those people so you can try to minimize the damage they can do.
Here are five people you don’t want to work with:
1. The idea person.
Ideas and vision are good. But the idea person never wants to do the work to make it happen. They say, “I know what we should do,” but never, “I’ll do it.” They’re just the idea person. The work part is somebody else’s problem.
2. The permanent resident of Negativetown.
She criticizes everybody else’s suggestions but never offers any of her own. She complains, points out what she thinks other people are doing wrong and is quick to place blame. She seems so unhappy being there that you wonder why she keeps coming to the meetings.
3. Anyone who repeatedly says, “That’s not my job.”
“That’s not my job” is almost always a cop out. It’s a reason not to pitch in and help. It’s the opposite of, “What else can I do?” The next time someone says, “That’s not my job,” ask, “OK. So what are you doing?” And if they answer by naming their title, that doesn’t technically count as doing something.
4. The excuse generator.
He’s always got an excuse when something he was supposed to do didn’t go right. He never thinks it’s his fault. If you offered an excuse generator $500, he still couldn’t bring himself to say, “I screwed up, and I’m sorry.”
5. The person who speaks negatively of whoever isn’t in the room.
That person who’s always tearing down whoever isn’t in the room at that moment? Not a good teammate. He’s creating animosity that wasn’t there before. He’s turning people against each other who were previously getting along. How does that help? How is that improving anybody’s experience?
If you work with one of these people, how about trying to help him or her change? Pull the person aside, point out just how much they have to offer, why the group needs them, and what’s holding them back. It might be enough to do the trick.
Tomorrow’s post: Five wonderful people you do want to work with…