In 2015, the Washington Nationals had arguably one of MLB’s most talented rosters but they struggled to even make the playoffs. At the bottom of the eighth inning, in a tied game against the Philadelphia Phillies, pitcher Jonathan Papelbon expressed frustration with Bryce Harper for his poor performance at bat, which led to a physical altercation in the dugout between the two teammates. The game ended with a victory for the Phillies, who beat the Nationals 12-5. To add to the team’s woes, Papelbon was suspended for four games, ending his season.

Your team’s interpersonal conflicts may not rise to the level of the Harper-Papelbon feud, but any time that team members prefer fighting and fault-finding over helping each other, project success and team productivity are bound to suffer. Make sure that team cohesiveness is one of your top priorities.

When a single member doesn’t perform well—and it happens often—it’s up to the rest of the team to adjust and help them, not find fault. The success of the project rests on everyone’s shoulders, not an individual.

Fault-finding creates a negative atmosphere that always impacts team success. Instead, have everyone make a firm decision to help each other out.

Key Takeaways

  • Encourage team members to help each other rather than criticize
  • Remind your team that the goal is accountability as a team, not an individual
  • Create a culture of mutual respect and collegiality
  • Focus on learning from mistakes and cultivating a winning attitude


Learn more about our project management methodology.