Does A Team Member Hold You Hostage? – Column #147

by Marcus

Marcus Straub

Marcus Straub

Every company has team members who hold positions critical to daily operations. While these individuals might fill important roles, they also could contribute to a negative work environment. They might not fully support company philosophies, objectives and goals. In fact, they actually could hinder the progress of the organization with their bad attitudes, gossip and dishonesty.

It’s typically believed if these team members were to leave or be let go, the business would suffer. This is a situation in which these team members hold a business hostage, but it need not be the case.

The feeling of being held hostage by anyone or anything is an uncomfortable one to say the least. Faced with this reality, business owners and managers commonly believe they’re powerless to change their circumstances. They believe they’re at the mercy of the team member and the situation. This is only a belief, however. And beliefs of this type must be changed if owners and managers are to free their operations from toxic team members and experience more happiness and success.

It’s common for business owners and managers to feel they’re being held hostage by one or more team members who play key roles. Owners and managers believe these individuals perform vital functions or possess sensitive information and letting them go or even taking any action that might upset them will leave the company in a desperate or vulnerable position.

Do you feel held hostage by one or more of your team members? This is often a challenging question to ask yourself and an even more challenging question to answer truthfully. No one wants to admit to feeling at the mercy of another. Nonetheless, the overall success if your business could depend on the answer.

If you feel held hostage by one or more team members, consider bringing in a professional to work with team members who need development or to be let go. Hiring a coach or consultant who’s objective and well-equipped to help you deal with these sensitive situations constitutes a wise investment in the company as a whole.

People are commonly held hostage by their limiting beliefs. A qualified professional can also help you, your managers and team members develop empowering beliefs and effective strategies that better position the company for continued growth and increased success.

Sometimes, a team member is able to change once they become aware what they are doing isn’t beneficial or acceptable. This isn’t always the case, though. It’s important to understand that there will be instances in which team members are unwilling or unable to change for the better, even with high-caliber coaching and training.

In the end, it must be determined whether or not a given team member constitutes a good fit for the company. In my 13 years as a business coach and consultant, it’s always been a better choice to set free those team members who have no interest in learning; growing; or aligning with company values, mission and direction. They don’t really want to be there.

In these situations, these individuals are unhappy with their jobs and would likely leave on their own if they didn’t feel they were held hostage by their circumstances. These team members are often limited by their beliefs as to their career options outside their current jobs, their ability to find other jobs they’d enjoy and their personal financial needs.

The businesses I work with have, without exception, improved their situations by letting go of any team member who’s unwilling to learn and grow. In addition, the team members who were let go typically found greater happiness and success elsewhere.

When business owners, managers and team members believe they’re held hostage by their professional reality, fear is the main force with which to deal. When effective actions are taken to manage and even eliminate fear, a win-win situation is created for both businesses and team members. Whether a team member adjusts and stays or doesn’t change and is removed, a decision is made that frees the team members and business to pursue the success and happiness they desire.

Marcus Straub owns Life is Great! in Grand Junction. His personalized coaching and consulting services help individuals, business owners, executives and companies build teams, organizations and lives filled with happiness and success. Straub is the winner of the International Coach of the Year Award and author of “Is It Fun Being You?” He’s available for free consultations regarding coaching, speaking and trainings. Reach Straub at 208-3150, marcus@lifeisgreat.com or www.lifeisgreatcoaching.com.

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This article was written for and published in collaboration with The Business Times newspaper.


Marcus Straub

Author Marcus Straub

Marcus Straub is Founder and CEO of Life Is Great!™ (LIG) Coaching and Consulting, Inc. based in Grand Junction, Colorado.

Serving individuals of all ages and companies of all sizes, in locations across the country and around the world, Marcus specializes in the development of customized programs tailored to meet the unique goals of each individual client. Purposefully created to guide those involved toward unprecedented personal, professional, and organizational growth, Marcus has become well-known for his straightforward approach and systematic techniques.