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Life coach: making teamwork work

In an ideal world, all members of a team would do their share of the work; in the real world, one person often lets the others down, creating problems and resentment. Here are four techniques for dealing with this.

* Make sure it's clear what is expected of everyone, and put it in writing.

To avoid seeming bossy, introduce it with a statement: "In case anyone else is as forgetful as I am about what's been agreed, I thought I'd summariseI " * Make periodic friendly checks to see how everybody is doing. Offer support if someone is having trouble, but have an early-warning system in case a person endangers the project.

* Colleagues who have excuses based on their latest misfortunes may be trying to get attention in the form of sympathy. Express sympathy - and admiration that they will do what's required despite their troubles.

* Watch for signs of progress from an insecure or lazy colleague. When it appears, praise it.

Jurgen Wolff is a hypnotherapist, teacher and writer. His free monthly creativity email bulletin is available from

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