Global Leadership Blog

Cross Cultural Team Conflict: When Someone Doesn’t Pull Their Weight

The Graduate School of Management at UC Davis first year MBA candidates: Michael Delehant, Lauren Davis, Evan Benway, David Cain, Matt Auman, and Brooke Dodson completed a case and provided their advice on what do to do when a member of a team doesn’t pull their own weight.

Solution:  Hold A “State of the Union” Meeting                 

Hopefully, one person is comfortable acting as the leader or there is a formal leader or project manager defined.  This person will take the first action, after the other team members have expressed their frustration with the “slacking” team member. By sending an email (or text or call), this leader can bring the team together to discuss how everyone is proceeding with the project. Once a date/time/location is agreed upon, the leader sends the formal meeting invitation, and asks each team member to come with a general status update on the tasks that they were assigned or took on at the start of the project.

At the meeting, the defined or “default” leader becomes the project tracker (or defines someone else to take on this role).  By using a white board or a project tracker (i.e. an excel spreadsheet emailed after the meeting), the leader constructs a diagram or outline that shows each person’s name. As each person names his/her tasks, the leader can list them under their name. Then he/she checks or crosses off each one as the person reports its completion. Be sure that the leader does this for all members, including the person who is “slacking.” When it’s his/her turn, list the tasks that he/she reports as being assigned. Be sure that this person mentions every task that the team thinks he/she is charged with completing. Then, as it becomes evident that very few have been completed, allow other team members to offer assistance or ask what might make it easier for this person to complete these tasks.

The feedback will be most effective if it is more “helpful” and less accusatory. The leader should encourage everyone to keep an upbeat tone, but strive to reach a real response with actionable recommendations for how the “slacking” teammate should proceed from here.  At the close of the meeting, each person reiterates his/her next steps and agrees to the next “check-in” date or meeting.  If, by then, the  team member has not improved, then it’s time to move on to using more direct language, defining one person as the lead communicator who can directly communicate with this individual to let him/her know that his/her performance is detrimental to the group’s progress. Again, the communicator should be as positive as possible, asking how to help accomplish the task at hand.   Keep the whole team involved and abreast to the progress on changing the behavior of the individual, so that everyone is aware of the situation. The overall goal is to increase personal accountability and achieve the task at hand without creating tension amongst all team members, which can further distract from completing the project.

Melissa Lamson

About The Author

Melissa Lamson, Founder and President of Lamson Consulting, is an author, consultant, and speaker who accelerates the business expansion goals of today’s most successful companies by developing global mindset, refining leadership skills, and bridging cross cultural communication. More About Melissa Lamson


What information do we collect?

We collect information from you when you place an order, subscribe to our newsletter, respond to a survey or fill out a form.
When ordering or registering on our site, as appropriate, you may be asked to enter your: name, e-mail address, mailing address, phone number or credit card information. You may, however, visit our site anonymously.

Like most websites, we use cookies and/or web beacons to enhance your experience, gather general visitor information, and track visits to our website. Please refer to the ‘do we use cookies?’ section below for information about cookies and how we use them.

What do we use your information for?

Any of the information we collect from you may be used in one of the following ways:


. To personalize your experience (your information helps us to better respond to your individual needs)
. To improve our website (we continually strive to improve our website offerings based on the information and feedback we receive from you)
. To improve customer service (your information helps us to more effectively respond to your customer service requests and support needs)
. To process transactions . Your information, whether public or private, will not be sold, exchanged, transferred, or given to any other company for any reason whatsoever, without your consent, other than for the express purpose of delivering the purchased product or service requested.
. To administer a contest, promotion, survey or other site feature
. To send periodic emails


The email address you provide for order processing, may be used to send you information and updates pertaining to your order, in addition to receiving occasional company news, updates, related product or service information, etc.

Note: If at any time you would like to unsubscribe from receiving future emails, we include detailed unsubscribe instructions at the bottom of each email.

How do we protect your information?

We implement a variety of security measures to maintain the safety of your personal information when you place an order or access your personal information.
We offer the use of a secure server. All supplied sensitive/credit information is transmitted via Secure Socket Layer (SSL) technology and then encrypted into our Payment gateway providers database only to be accessible by those authorized with special access rights to such systems, and are required to keep the information confidential.

After a transaction, your private information (credit cards, social security numbers, financials, etc.) will not be stored on our servers.

Do we use cookies?

Yes (Cookies are small files that a site or its service provider transfers to your computers hard drive through your Web browser (if you allow) that enables the sites or service providers systems to recognize your browser and capture and remember certain information.

We use cookies to help us remember and process the items in your shopping cart and compile aggregate data about site traffic and site interaction so that we can offer better site experiences and tools in the future. We may contract with third-party service providers to assist us in better understanding our site visitors. These service providers are not permitted to use the information collected on our behalf except to help us conduct and improve our business.

If you prefer, you can choose to have your computer warn you each time a cookie is being sent, or you can choose to turn off all cookies via your browser settings. Like most websites, if you turn your cookies off, some of our services may not function properly. However, you can still place orders over the telephone.

Do we disclose any information to outside parties?

We do not sell, trade, or otherwise transfer to outside parties your personally identifiable information. This does not include trusted third parties who assist us in operating our website, conducting our business, or servicing you, so long as those parties agree to keep this information confidential. We may also release your information when we believe release is appropriate to comply with the law, enforce our site policies, or protect ours or others rights, property, or safety. However, non-personally identifiable visitor information may be provided to other parties for marketing, advertising, or other uses.

Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act Compliance

We are in compliance with the requirements of COPPA (Childrens Online Privacy Protection Act), we do not collect any information from anyone under 13 years of age. Our website, products and services are all directed to people who are at least 13 years old or older.

Your Consent

By using our site, you consent to our privacy policy.

Changes to our Privacy Policy

If we decide to change our privacy policy, we will post those changes on this page.

Contacting Us

If there are any questions regarding this privacy policy you may contact us via moc.l1558328928iamg@1558328928CLLgn1558328928itlus1558328928noCno1558328928smaL1558328928.