4 Steps to Dealing with a Bad Egg on the Team

If bad is 5X stronger than good, eliminating bad does a lot of good.

“[Will] Felps estimates that teams with just one deadbeat, downer, or asshole suffer a performance disadvantage of 30 to 40 percent compared to teams that have no bad apples.” (Bob Sutton in Good Boss Bad Boss.)

Apples. One apple with a rotten spot.

If bad is stronger than good, eliminating bad does a lot of good.

4 Steps to dealing with a bad egg on the team*:

Step 1: Provide feedback

Bad eggs may not appreciate how they drain and diminish others.

Follow three steps to give feedback that strengthens relationships.

#1. Seek to understand them and then provide descriptive feedback.

  1. Describe the behavior.
  2. Avoid making it personal.
  3. Identify elements in the behavior that can be confirmed by someone else.
  4. Avoid evaluative statements. “You’re wrong,” for example.

#2. Describe your reaction (other’s reaction) or consequences of the negative behavior.

#3. Suggest an alternative.

If step 1 doesn’t help, move to step two.

Step 2: Provide positive intervention.

  1. Offer coaching, mentoring, or training.
  2. Create a development plan.

Encourage and teach people how to add value instead of diminishing other people.

If steps 1 and 2 don’t help, move to step three.

Step 3: Isolate the bad egg.

Some obstinate bad eggs add value. Then what?

“Stage 3 suggests that, figuratively speaking, the microphone is taken out of their hands, their opportunities for interaction are markedly reduced, and the negative virus is isolated.” Kim Cameron

Step 4: Let them flourish somewhere else.

Always seek the best interest of everyone. There are no exceptions to the previous statement. When you manage someone out, it’s for their good and the organization’s good.

It’s never appropriate to seek the worst interest of others.

Kim points out that Steps 1 through 3 come before step 4.

*Adapted from, “Positively Energizing Leadership,” by Kim Cameron

Kim Cameron explains 4 steps for dealing with bad eggs:

What’s the worst way to deal with bad eggs on the team?

How might leaders deal with bad eggs on the team?

Click here and leave a comment to win a copy of Kim’s book, “Positively Energizing Leadership.” (Deadline 8/07/2021)

Bonus material:

The Law of the Leech

10 Ways to Spot Dead-weight Before it’s too Late