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Managing a Difficult Team Member (Marie/Jason) (#902)

Initial development of this simulation was supported by a grant from the J.W. McConnell Family Foundation. 

Option 1

Marie, a member on a group project between students/employees, really wants a good grade/recognition for her work but doesn’t know how to get the job done without alienating everyone. She has become a problem and another group member must apply appropriate interpersonal conflict resolution strategies to resolve this conflict.

Option 2

Jason, a member on a group project between students or employees isn’t pulling his weight. He is difficult to pin down and it has been agreed that someone should speak with him.

Note: This simulation can be used in a classroom or a professional/workplace setting.

Learning Objectives

  • Conveying understanding 
  • Asking direct and open-ended questions
  • Empathy
  • Active listening
  • Identifying issues
  • Managing conflict
  • Providing feedback
  • Respecting diverse viewpoints

Information for Learners

Option 1

Marie thinks her group is wasting its time and she wants to do the project on her own.  The success of the assignment depends on the group’s dynamic and its ability to resolve conflict.  So the group decided that you should talk to her.

Option 2

Over the past six weeks Jason has missed meetings, not shared any tangible work and in general demonstrated lacking involvement with the group and their important term project. Due to his challenging schedule, the group assigned him the literature review: a piece of the project which can be completed by one individual but is a key component which each member builds their work off of. With the project deadline looming the group needs the literature review completed in order to move forward. Jason and his lacking involvement have become a problem for the group and they elected you to speak with him and resolve this conflict.


Simulation Details

Simulator Role(s)

  • Option 1: Marie
  • Option 2: Jason

Learner Role(s)

  • A member of Marie/Jason's team 
  • Marie/Jason's team (five to six members)


  • Classroom 
  • Office

Related Topics

  • Team and Group Dynamics
  • Diversity Equity Inclusion
  • Employment and Business
  • Interdisciplinary Practice
  • Mental Health
  • Placement Preparation and Professional Development