Working with Children

Every so often I work on a team with a member who cannot act professionally and is compelled to act childish.

For me, there’s different stages to dealing with people like this.  Ignoring the behaviour is the fist stage.  If they’re simply looking to get a rise out of your or are simply looking for attention, ignoring them sometimes makes the behaviour go away.

For people who are acting this way not to get attention or to get a rise, talking to them sometimes solves the problem.  Approaching them and simply saying “Your behaviour is not very professional.  It’s disturbing and counter-productive.  Could you please stop asking this way?”  This is usually enough to stop the people who simply don’t know their behaviour is unprofessional.

Now, occasionally, there’s people who are unable to work productive and professionally in a team and insist on acting unprofessionally.  At this point, depending on the organization, you have to get human resources involved.  In some organizations there’s a several stage process that needs to occur: verbal warnings, written warnings, dismissal.  In some organizations they’re just asked to pack-up and leave.

It’s unfortunate that situations like this arise and even more unfortunate when it escalates  to extreme measures.  If you’re encountered situations like this, how have you handled them?

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