How are your ‘c-players’ affecting your team? How do I manage this?

11 October 2018

Having a high performing team is highly advantageous for a number of reasons. E.g. producing high level returns. However, not every employee can be an ‘a-player’. Of course, the next tier down consists of the ‘b-players’ but you shouldn’t worry too much about them. The ‘c-players’ are the ones to keep a close eye on. Ways things are done in your business can also become damaged. Which is why it is important to coach ‘c-players’ to become higher performing individuals.

In this article, I have provided a guide of how to handle your ‘c-players’. And outlined how they can affect the rest of your team.

people sat in team meetingHow do I manage my ‘c-players’?


  1. Work that your ‘a-players’ don’t want to complete can be passed to your ‘c-players’. Because often, this is work that ‘a-players’ hate and ‘c-players’ love. And do well. However, do be aware of ‘c-players’ that bring down the performance of the ‘a-players’.
  2. ‘C-players’ can very well de-motivate higher performing team members. As such, they need to be managed appropriately. Working out why they behave the way they do. Coaching plans exist to change negative behaviours. Better suiting the employee to the organisation.
  3. Try and view the individual in a different light. Psychology states that our belief of others can inadvertently affect their behaviour. Therefore, if you try and see the person differently, they may eventually be able to change their behaviour.
  4. Make sure your ‘c-players’ aren’t bringing down the overall energy of the team. It is useful to prepare some questions for the individual before speaking to them. E.g. How would you like them to improve? What changes are necessary? Is the person producing successful results?
  5. Be honest to your ‘c-player’ about their performance. You may be unaware of what to do for the best. An employee within a role that isn’t suited to them can erode their self-esteem. And prevent them from doing a role they are truly suited to. Make sure that your ‘c-player’ can improve in the future. And if not, get rid!
What are other ways you can manage your ‘c-players’?
  1. View every member of your team as an asset. Try and bring out the motivations and assets of your ‘c-players’ to allow them to live to their own strengths. Not everyone in your business can perform at a high level. Instead, empower the individual to identify lapses. And how their talents can be utilised.
  2. It only takes one ‘c-player’ to hold back a team. Regularly meet with your employee to work out what changes are required in terms of their behaviour. Be respectful but honest. And as such, your employee will reflect this as well.
  3. Evidently, your employees will not want to be branded with the label of a ‘c-player’. Try and work out the strengths and weaknesses of the person. And potentially create a role better suited to them. Along the lines of their motivation and natural abilities.
  4. If your ‘c-player’ is lacking motivation, work out how this can be improved in the individual. Another common cause of underperformance can be a lack of necessary skills. Which can be gained by further training.
people sat in office

Keeping an eye on the ‘c-players’ within your organisation is critical. They can erode the performance of ‘a-players’ and damage work processes within your organisation.

In this blog, we outline the ways to manage your businesses ‘c-players’.

  • Re-delegate work that ‘a-players’ don’t want to do to the ‘c-players’. The ‘c-players’ will perform the task well, offering more time to the ‘a-players’ to do what they love
  • Work on changing the behaviour of ‘c-players’ to better perform. Using tools such as neuroscience coaching
  • View the ‘c-player’ in a different light to potentially help them transform their own behaviour
  • Work out ways that you’d like your ‘c-player’ to improve and keep them accountable for the issues experienced
  • Be honest with ‘c-players’ about their performance. If they are unable to improve, it may benefit both parties to let them go
  • Try and gain respect from your staff instead of attempting to be popular.
  • Give ‘c-players’ the opportunity to do tasks that live up to their strengths. Identify gaps for training and improvement
  • Adapt their role to suit their strengths. Encourage them to move on to something better suited if necessary
  • Lack of skills can be a common cause of issues. Invest in training to try turn this around
About the author

Angelina Bell offers executive coaching both in the local area, as well as online. If you are looking for executive coaching, why not book a 45 minute chat  with her to see how she can help your business?

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