You know what drives me totally nuts? It’s team members who are snide, cynical, and even sinister about their teammate’s attempts to change.
People generally come to work to contribute and to be valuable. If something they do detracts from their effectiveness, they are probably motivated to change it. But more often than not, honest attempts to change for the better are met with nasty comments and “told you so” hostility when they slip up.
Imagine telling a friend that you’re trying to watch what you eat. A few days later, the friend sees you put a donut on your tray in the cafeteria. Instead of reminding you of your desire to eat well, or grabbing a fruit cup for each of you, that friend says nothing and then whispers to someone else that you’re already “off the wagon.”
The same types of scenarios play out all the time on teams. People trying to contribute more, to interrupt less, to take a broader perspective all make efforts to improve but then get ridiculed when they inevitably slip up a little.
It’s so sad that we seem to take more pleasure in the failings of others rather than in supporting their success.
Is someone on your team more interested in seeing you slide back into your old ways than in helping you maintain your new ones?
What about you? Are you in your teammates’ corners or are you secretly hoping they will fail?
In my next post—how to reverse this downward spiral on your team.