Indentifying frustrated team member…

After long time I thought of posting something again. This time regarding how to find out, that a team member is totally frustrated.

Every team member starts with lot of enthusiasm in the beginning when one joins a team. One takes up different kinds of job and tries to accomplish them at record speed. Each developer wants to get the recognition from his fellow developer and his lead. As time passes by things change. Some team members are regarded as high due to their technical excellence. Some are regarded high due to the way they present themselves. Slowly this level of differences builds up some kind of frustration with in a team member. If as a lead one cannot identify such a situation and encourage the team member at the end of the day the whole team  needs to face the consequences.

Now the important question is,

“How do a team lead find out that a team member has reached such a frustrated state?”

Over the years in my own personal experience the following list of things can be helpful

Intuition

Intuition is one among the best thing here. If a team lead has understood all his team members well, then a team lead feels that a particular team member is having some problem. But this is like Zen. It takes really long time and good amount of experience for a team lead to attain such a level.

Remaining Alone

As far as I know when somebody is frustrated one prefers to be alone. So if a developer  starts to prefer to be alone rather than being part of the team. Then it is a clear indication. This can be easily identified in team meetings. A frustrated developer never concentrates on what others are saying and doesn’t contribute any of his own comments on the subject. The team member attends the meetings just for the sake of attending the meeting and always ready to get out of the meeting room.

Don’t know

Again this requires some amount of experience to find this out. At a critical time when information is need of the hour a team member who knows the exact information will always come forward irrespective of what. But if a team member is frustrated then he says a clear no and says that some one needs to find the solution for that. Most of the time for an experienced team lead it is easy guess who will know the answer for a particular problem. But it is hard to find out whether a no coming from a team member is a real no.

Follow Orders

The other important aspect of frustration is a team member blindly follows the orders like military commando. In the normal circumstances a team member argues with the lead, if he thinks something is ridiculous. But once a team member is frustrated he will do anything given to him without any thought process. And when there is a problem he comes back with the argument that it was you who suggested such a solution.

Stick to Timelines

Every team member wants to impress others by completing task ahead of schedule. But once a team member is frustrated he will bargain huge amount of time for the smallest of the task. And he sticks to the time frame. If he finishes early he doesn’t come back with pride saying that he has finished early but waits till the allocated time is spent.

Pessimism

The easiest to identify is this aspect. When a team member gets really frustrated he tends be pessimistic regarding everything. Any team lead should be able to identify this very easily.

Next time I will write some solutions for the above list of issues.

-Ferose Khan J

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