With every team or organization I have led, there have been people who get frustrated with someone else on the team. In full disclosure, sometimes others have been frustrated with me.
Frustration is common among relationships. It happens within the healthiest of families—and the healthiest of teams. We certainly shouldn't strive to frustrate others, but we shouldn't be surprised when frustration happens.
I have learned there are some actions that can frustrate people faster than others. This might be a good time to do some self-reflection. As you read these, don't be quick to think of others—although certainly there will be some of this too—but consider your own actions when you (or I) may frustrate people on your team.
Here are seven of the quickest ways to frustrate another team member:
1. Promising to do something and not following through
One of the quickest ways to frustrate people is to make a commitment and then not do what you promised. People are depending on each other as a team. When one person "drops the ball"—especially consistently—it impacts everyone. The Scripture says it something like this: "Let your yes be yes and your no be no." It's better to commit to less and complete it than to take on assignments and never see them to the end.
2. Saying one thing to one person and something different to another
Healthy teams are built on trust. Trust is developed with time and consistency. No one likes a people-pleaser. This person is often popular for a time, but they lose favor as soon as they're found out to be two-sided in their opinions.
3. Never being serious
This is the person who embarrasses you by making awkward comments and includes you in them like you are part of it. Teams should be fun, but this person makes everything a joke—and other people are often the brunt of them. They delay meetings with their constant antics. It can be funny for a while, but it wears thin quickly, as it begins to delay progress toward a goal.
4. Having an excuse for everything
This is the person who can't complete the task but doesn't want to admit fault, so they blame it on something else—or someone else. They refuse to ever admit fault. There is always a reason. They actually may become frustrated with you if you dare challenge one of their excuses. They expect you to just keep believing them.
5. Always having a trump story
You know the type. You went on an exciting adventure—it was a great vacation—and the person who, often before you finish, has to share with you their vacation, which was far better than yours. Or what they accomplished at work is always far superior to what you accomplished. They can't let anyone receive recognition grander than they receive.
6. Complaining consistently
You may be just as frustrated with things at work as everyone else, but the one person who always complains sucks even the slightest joy from the room. They sew negativity into the team and try to bring everyone down to the pit of despair with them. They don't like the vision, the plan of action, or those charged with leading them. They are naysayers. They overreact to everything and blow it out of proportion. These people weigh heavily on the morale of the team.
7. Only looking out for themselves
This person really isn't on the team, because the very definition of team involves shared progress toward a goal. They may be on the team by position, but in actions they are very much independent of others. They look out for themselves first. If they can take advantage of an opportunity—they will—even to the detriment of others.
Let's build better teams!
Those are just some of the more frequent ones I've observed. Have you ever been frustrated by anyone on your team with one of these? Have you been the cause of any of these frustrations?
What are other frustrations you've seen people bring to a team?
Ron Edmondson is the senior pastor at Immanuel Baptist Church in Lexington, Kentucky. For the original article, visit ronedmondson.com.
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