Solution Saturday: Dealing with Ms. Rigid

Hi Dan,

I lead a team of amazing professionals who are passionate and committed to the work we do. One team member is … rigid in her thinking and ambushes me at staff briefings about operational matters that are only a problem to her. … it is causing the rest of the team to start complaining about her to me in private. It is … souring the culture of goodwill and support …

I am mostly bothered that we don’t seem to all be on the same page about the collaborative culture we have aspired to work under.

Any ideas?

define winning in terms of behaviors, relationships, and resluts.png

Dear Team Leader,

The topics in your question include:

  1. You.
  2. Teammembers.
  3. Ms. Rigid.
  4. Culture.


Define winning in terms of behaviors, relationships, and results, not ambiguous ideas.

  1. If things were going perfectly what would you, Ms. Rigid, and other teammates be doing? Not doing?
  2. What proper channels are available for addressing operational issues?
  3. How should teammates be dealing with their frustrations with each other?
  4. What leadership behaviors are important to you, with this situation in mind?
  5. How might this situation make you, your team, and Ms. Rigid better? (Keep thinking behaviors.)

Implement a simple behavior or two that moves you and your team forward.


  1. What does your reaction say about you?
  2. Who do you want to be with this person in mind?
  3. What will you not have done, if this situations persists for six months?


  1. Meet with Ms. Rigid before meetings to address operational issues.
  2. Ask, “What’s important about this,” when Ms. Rigid takes you off topic?
  3. Ask your “complaining” teammates for suggestions. Don’t carry the ball alone.
  4. The next time someone complains, pick up the phone and invite Ms. Rigid to have a conversation with the three of you. (Define the win together.)
  5. Seek counsel from leaders you admire.

What suggestions do you have for this team leader?