5 Reasons to Listen to Your Least Favorite Team Members

Weak Link

If you’re tuning out employees that drive you crazy, you may be missing more than you think.

You might not like them or what they’re saying, but paying attention could prove valuable for you and your team.

5 Reasons to Listen Up

Here are 5 reasons to listen to those who might not be your favorite on your team.

1) They’re telling you the tough stuff

There are whiners and then there are the ones trying to help you be a real winner. Effective leaders know the difference and can ferret out a faker. However, be careful.

Assuming that team member is a whiner when they’re the only one willing to tell you the tough stuff, may leave you in a tough spot…all alone.

2) They see what others are missing

Some think and analyze all aspects and might be more detail oriented than you’d like, but would you really take the time they do, to review? A linear focus on “getting it right” means they’re gifted at seeing all the ways you may have it wrong.

When they tell you about it, they’re simply trying to help you see what’s missing…not criticize how you put the plan together.

3) They’re willing to point it out

No one wants their mistakes made public and the ones who point them out risk taking the blame. Give them some credit for speaking up as the ones who keep quiet may tell you later, but that’s usually too little too late.

Pay attention to the ones who fail to go with the flow to keep you in the know.

4) They’re willing to risk popularity

Anyone willing to forsake what others might think of him to speak up and tell the less popular news, is worth listening to, if for no other reason than that’s not an easy stance to take. Even if you don’t like their opinion and others downplay their message, you may find great value if you simply admire their courage.

5) They’re differences don’t make them difficult

In Make Difficult People Disappear you learn difficult people are often labeled as such by those vastly different from them. Thus, your least favorite team member is likely the one with whom you share the least, you’re not like at all and you don’t understand.

That gives them a different angle, a new view of the same issue, and a perspective worthy of review. That may also mean they see the solution faster than those just like you.

Learning Something New

The most effective leaders surround themselves with people smarter than they are. They also avoid picking a team of clones with only one opinion.

As such, there are times when all will not get along.

Like them or not, work with them you do and sometimes that means they see you as least favorite, too. They key for you both is to learn something new from the differences that come through.


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Monica Wofford
Monica Wofford
, CSP, is CEO of Contagious Companies, Inc.
She serves her clients by getting business results and ROI for training functions
Email | LinkedIn | Twitter | Web | Office 1.866.382.0121

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4 responses to “5 Reasons to Listen to Your Least Favorite Team Members

  1. Excellent points! At one time, in a department of 30, one individual was an ugly duckling whom most kept at a distance, rolled their eyes when he spoke, and occasionally avoided. What the majority did not know is that before a major change or an important communique, this one was my “tester.” He would pick everything apart, ask questions no one else would think of and – most importantly to me – would give me an honest, no-holds-barred assessment. I also knew I could depend on him to let me know things no one else would.

    I am particularly fond of your final point: a good manager always has people smarter than themselves. For this principle to work, however, you must have an organization that fosters open communication and encourages disagreement. Always remember to teach your team members to “agree to disagree.”


  2. Reblogged this on Leadership Advantage and commented:
    The downside of following this advice is that you’ll no longer have team members you don’t like so then you’ll be forced to only speak to those you like… oh well, there’s worse things to do in December 🙂


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