How to manage a team member with a negative attitude

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This article was inspired in part by Ben Snyder’s book Everything’s a Project 70 Lessons from Successful Project Driven Organizations.

How do I deal with a team member who has a bad attitude?
Negative attitude at work: Examples of someone who is having a bad day
Unprofessional attitude

Management of a team member who has a negative attitude You can manage their performance
2. You can coerce them (yikes!
3. Take them out

Additional resources

How do I deal with a team member who has a bad attitude?
“How do I deal with a member of my project team whose attitude is savage?”
This was the question a reader asked me recently. It made me think about the times I’ve had to manage someone with a negative attitude, but thankfully not many.
Perhaps it’s because I deal directly with people’s problems before they become major sources of conflict (ha! It’s not like that. Or I’m so paragonal of leadership (ha! It’s not that. Or because I’ve been blessed with working with professionals who care about their jobs (yep, more likely to do that).
Despite this, I had to deal in line management with people who didn’t behave in the professional manner I expected.
My team members know of people in their teams that have not had the same attitude as one might expect.
It’s not unusual, I’m sure. I know that it’s not uncommon. I’m sure there are many team members who don’t show up at work prepared to do their job.
Let me show you how I see it and what you can do.
Negative attitudes at work are examples
There is a difference between having a bad week or month and having a negative attitude about a project or work in general. Let’s start with that.
A person who is having a bad week
Bad days are something I experience quite often. These usually occur when I’ve had less that 4 hours of uninterrupted sleep, as I have little boys who don’t sleep.
I get to work on time. I want to do a great job, but it is difficult for me to focus on tasks that require concentration. I procrastinate about the more difficult jobs and do the easy work.
This is not a negative attitude, at least not in my opinion. Millions of working parents live this way. Eventually, they catch up on their sleep and get it back. It doesn’t affect me overall.
Bad days can happen for many reasons. Bad months can also happen when team members experience major life changes such as a move, illness, or bereavement. As managers, we make allowances.
Once you have established that there is nothing going on, you shouldn’t allow negative attitudes to be accepted in the workplace.
Unprofessional attitude
Unprofessionalism manifests in many ways, including:
Openly expressing dislike for you or another member of your team, such as using negative body language or being rude to you in public
Passive-aggressive behavior
You or another team member trying to undermine you behind your backs or infront of you
Failure to complete tasks and not letting others know
You are less concerned about the outcome and have a lower passion for the work than you are.
They don’t show any effort, even though they might have a better work ethic elsewhere in their role.
Make the team feel they have to support this person and do their work so that the project doesn’t suffer.

Negative attitude in a team member can be difficult to manage
You don’t have time or energy to take someone along. There are three options for dealing with someone with a bad attitude.
1. Performance management
It is important to understand their motivations and what motivates them to do their job, especially if there are discrepancies.
They might be able to perform well for another person or do a great job on a project. This could be a sign of it