Human Service Team Building - What a mess! : LUSENET : work teams : One Thread

Working in the non-profit world as you may know is deadly! It's hard to find anyone with business skills and it's driving me crazy! I'm in a bind. I work as a housing advocate with two other advocates and a supervisor. We have the basics in place for team building such as a weekly meeting but that is it. The main problem is that there is an advocate that has been here for 12 years that is resistant to change and doesn't want to be a part of an advocacy team. Advocates have their own clients and schedule but there are issues in our community we need to work on together. We have a huge communication problem with this person although he speaks and understands English. He alienates himself from everyone and creates a fog of mystery of where he is during work hours (we work in the community). The problem is that he then complains that he's alone in this agency, he feels discriminated against, feels unliked, and doesn't want to be controlled. Unfortunately he is well informed and reminded of things but then gets mad and says he didn't know. Is there anything out there that can begin to assist us in building our team? It would have to be from a human service model rather than a business model. Any suggestions? Thank you, Julie

-- Julie Powell (, December 27, 2001


Hi Julie,

I have worked in Human Services and now providing consulting and training services in that arena from time to time. Your situation is very difficult. I don't think much can be done until all parties get a chance to openly discuss the issues and how they are affecting the mission of the organization. As a starting point I offer a free online team checkup ( After a team gets a chance to reply and print answers, a faciliator can then conduct a town meeting and get people talking. I suggest the faciliator be someone from outside the team.

I'd be happy to share some of our experiences with this approach should you wish to discuss this further.

Best wishes, Rick

-- Rick Stamm (, January 08, 2002.

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