How To Handle An Issue With A Team Member


Having a Team is both a blessing and a burden. How you steward the staff that God blesses you will determine which role they play in your life the most! What do you do when you have an issue you need to handle with a team member? When do you handle it? How do you handle it?

If you do the right thing the wrong way, you will blow up everyone and everything. You can do the right thing but do it the wrong way and you still lose! Here are a few simple guidelines about when and how to handle an issue with a staff person that could make all the difference:

3 Suggestions For Handling An Issue WIth A Team Member

Handle It Quickly.

The issue will not get better by leaving it alone. The issue will always escalate. The issue will always bother us more over time. The issue will bother our entire ministry or organization if we allow the dough to rise! Don’t procrastinate. Simply say: “Hey, could connect a few minutes at the end of the day?” When should you address issues with the staff? Every day! We’re like Geico. It’s what we do. We coach our team! Lead or get out of the way!

Handle It Privately.

Don’t take someone with you. Go alone. This allows the staff person not to feel threatened or ganged up on. The person will feel less backed in corner and will tend to be less defensive if it’s one on one. Speaking privately also gives them opportunity to push back or even debate the issue without it seeming insubordinate. There are always two sides of the coin. We may not have the complete picture. This also allows the staff person to maintain their dignity while you coach them. Not everyone needs to know there’s an issue. We can handle this quickly between the two of us and move on, before it becomes the talk of the office.

Handle It With Grace AND Truth.

Some of us are more naturally GRACERS and some of us are more naturally TRUTHERS. Jesus was full of BOTH! BE COMPLETELY honest with them. This is our chance. Don’t lie and don’t exaggerate. Spell out the issue and give concrete examples. If we move or remove a staff person, and they are surprised by it, we have not been honest with them along the way. Be honest about the issue and give clarity about what’s acceptable behavior and what’s not.

However, season everything we say with GRACE. Talk about what they’re doing RIGHT not just what they’re doing WRONG. Ask them to give you feedback about how you are leading them and how you might lead them more effectively. Let them know that honesty flows both way and that when they have an issue open up with you that your door is always open for that dialogue, as well.

If we will keep these basic three step in mind, I promise you that no coaching conversation will resemble an old episode of Jerry Springer! Instead, God will go ahead of us, prepare the way, keep everything, and use us to help lead our team to the next level!