If the situation is less dire but you can see it coming, you’ve got more slack to get structures in place.
In that case, be actively involved in assessing needed steps and designing a good structure to support ongoing success. Remember to hold the line on not taking on ownership of tasks outside your domain.
Success will depend on your colleagues’ ability — and willingness — to step up.
Approach the situation assuming good intent. Most people are trying to do their best, and even if they fall consistently short, it’s generally not due to ill intent.
This still leaves the problem of impact. But if you can diagnose the reasons for their failures, you’ll reach a faster solution.
Some possibilities include:
• They don’t know what to do. Help them figure it out, perhaps having joint-work sessions rather than sending them off to work independently, which clearly has not worked.
• They have other legitimate priorities that keep taking precedence. If this is putting your company at risk, they should clarify the project’s needs with their boss. And if they don’t, you may need to.
But what if they just don’t seem to care? That gets to the “willingness” issue. If they are resistant to change or are not interested in learning new skills, then you need to advocate for the well-being of the project.
Basically, you need to demand a culture of accountability.
This will include a willingness to own tasks, step up to get things taken care of, offer constructive and respectful disagreement, and engage in open discussion when people are falling short. Coddling helps no one.
After all, it’s in everyone’s interest to have the team succeed. Show your leadership capabilities by helping build cohesiveness during this challenging time and ensuring a good outcome for the project.
Liz Reyer is a credentialed coach with more than 20 years of business experience. www.deliverchange.com/coachscorner or firstname.lastname@example.org