Aunty Entity #13: Team Infighting
Photo by Please! Don't smile.
We’re halfway through a project and I think the Art Director is going to kill the Technical lead. We can’t get through a day without constant sniping, terse words or snippy emails cced to the whole office.
Yesterday, the technical lead poured his slush puppy over the art director’s head and unplugged his laptop in the middle of a presentation causing the art director to cuss wildly about the cost of his suit and the state of his hair. It didn’t help that the client was sitting in the meeting room watching the presentation at the time.
Is there any advice for this? I’m the PM by the way.
Dear Ms Chong
Lordy lordy lordy. I don’t think you need a clipboard, I think you need a naughty step and a bullwhip. What a zoo. As the PM, you are responsible for how a client perceives your team to a point. There is a general consensus that the team should always form a united front to the client especially under pressure. Bad behaviour from senior team members such as these two are should not be tolerated and an apology to the client is in order. However, if the quality of work that is produced is brilliant and you can palm this behaviour off as part of the ongoing creative-development process especially when working with people of this calibre then I suggest you go with the flow, install hose-able walls/floors in your meeting room and provide the client with waterproof clothing, drinks and popcorn on their next visit.
Guide to surviving meetings: part 3
Recommended meeting behaviour when with clients
- Writing notes. Always impressive as it appears you are recording whatever the speaker says. Whatever you do with them later is up to you – you could be writing your grocery list or a letter to your mom.
- Smile and nod at speaker periodically to let them know you are in agreement and you are: ‘on the same page’. It should be noted that there is such a thing as too smiley in a meeting – it can appear a little creepy.
- Appear alert. Be careful with ‘too alert’ – this indicates a substance overload.
- Have paper with you: Any supporting information about the meeting – a copy of the meeting agenda is a start. A copy of ‘Hello’ magazine isn’t.
- Noisy, smelly food or food you’ve brought yourself unless you offer to share.
- Doodling obscene cartoons and passing them around.
- Falling asleep.
- Attempting complicated origami projects.
- Home projects:, garment mending, buttonholes, scrapbooking.
- Reading a book or magazine – see above.
- Taking calls on your mobile phone then saying stuff like : ‘hunny-wunny’ and ‘diddums’.
- Messaging/checking emails/surfing the internet.
- Playing a Wii game – all that arm waving is a bit distracting.