Tag Archives: bad apples

Office Troublemaker Produces Work Stress

You know what they say about one bad apple… Identifying needs increases productivity. Deworming that Malus pumila.   — BadWitch

Readers Are Spellbound & Perplexed…

Dear GWBW — Help. I work with a smart small team on a pretty important project in our division. Four out of the five of us get along, and work out our challenges. There’s one person who is rude and insolent and often hogs meeting time and doesn’t share ideas. How can we deal better with this person?   — Team One


Dear Team One,

Are you the PM on this one? If so, it’s incumbent upon you to get everyone in the boat stroking to the same beat in the same direction. Identify what makes this troublemaker tick at his/her base. Appeal to that by managing him/her by this motivating need. For instance, time is my currency, and I respond well to being given a long leash of freedom to self-direct and manage my own. If I didn’t make my deadlines and was irresponsible to my tasks, obviously productively managing me would have to change to another tactic. Identifying what this person needs and wants (again, we’re talking fundamental motivating wants, not ridiculous fantasy items) is key to managing the trouble better, more effectively.

Also, this sort of ongoing disruption is very morale-draining for the rest of the team members who get on smoothly. Nip it in the bud. But be aware that the causes that make for bad apples can range as much as people do, from: annoyed at perceived team slackers, dissatisfaction with management, to boredom (often the disrupters can be the highest producers who are expressing frustration non-constructively; get to the root of this). Motivate everyone equally by rewarding positive and constructive behaviors. Rewards don’t have to be monetary or otherwise material — the right-tone public praise and appropriate contests between team members goes miles and miles to building camaraderie as well as laughs and bonding on a long road trip in a small vehicle. [Learn more how to deal with office “Fight” and the five other Automatic Stress Reaction (ASR) Types.]

No jerk zone offices for great good,



Mother’s Day “hang over” with the little kids leaves Good Witch speechless on today’s question. Have a fabulous week and we’ll see you back here Thursday!


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