Dealing with non-cooperative team members in the Daily Stand-up

GoRetro Team
August 22, 2022
Posted on
This is some text inside of a div block.

Non-cooperative team members in the Daily Stand-up

As software developers and engineers, we rely on our teams to work together effectively in order to deliver high-quality products. This can be a challenge when team members aren't pulling their weight or aren't cooperative. In this blog post, we'll explore some strategies for dealing with non-cooperative team members in the daily scrum.

First, it's important to understand that non-cooperation can stem from a variety of issues. It could be a lack of understanding or buy-in to the project goals, a lack of motivation, inspiration or even personal issues that are impacting their work. It's important to approach the situation with empathy and a desire to understand the root cause of the non-cooperation.

How to deal with non-cooperative team members in the Daily Stand-up

Here are some strategies can you use to deal with and prevent daily stand-ups from breaking down:

1) Make sure all attendees in meetings are engaged and focussed: don’t sit down and lean against a wall, the stand-up meeting is called stand-up for a reason.

2) Involve them in the problem-solving process: Ask for the teams input and ideas on how to move forward. This can help to build buy-in and ownership, as well as foster a sense of teamwork. It's also important to be open to hearing their concerns and addressing them in a constructive manner.

3) Set clear expectations and hold team members accountable for meeting them. This may involve setting specific sprint goals and holding regular check-ins to ensure that progress is being made. It's important to be proactive in addressing any roadblocks or issues that may be preventing a team member from meeting their goals.

4) Provide support and resources to team members who may be struggling: This could involve providing additional training or access to tools that may be helpful in their work.

5) Maintain open lines of communication within the team: Encourage team members to speak up if they're feeling overwhelmed or if they have concerns about the project. By fostering a culture of open communication, it's more likely that issues can be addressed before they become major roadblocks.

6) When the meeting has ended, ask the individual more detailed questions: If another team member might be able to help them with their question, point them in the direction of another team member to help them, for example, “Great question, I think that John Doe would be a great person to consult with here, how do you feel about that?

Tips for preventing interuption/hijacking from another team-member

  • Have the person speaking have to balance on one leg 
  • Have the person speaking hold the scrum "speaking token” in their hands with their arms outstretched when they are speaking.
  • Implement a flip chart that’s used to capture key ideas that can be circled back to later. This will keep the conversation and the meeting going and avoid it getting too entrenched on one single item/aspect of the meeting.

Tips for dealing with team members who don't listen

  • Approach team members individually to ask how they could be benefitting from scrum more. For example, “Greg, it’s come up that you haven’t been reaping the benefits of scrum, what can we tweak to make it more valuable for you?
  • Ask questions to team mates who come up during the scrum. For example, if George says “I ran a test on Ellie’s code yesterday,” you should ask Ellie, “How did it go? What did you learn?” However, be careful not to use this questioning method too often, as it can prolong the duration of the meeting

Tip for the facilitator of the meeting: To encourage a discussion from team-mate to team-mate, don’t position yourself (body posture or gaze) to be involved. Look away when people are talking as if you’re no there - it will help team-mates talk to each other, engaging them more and bringing them into the conversation


In conclusion, dealing with non-cooperative team members can be a challenge, but it's an important part of maintaining a productive and effective team. By involving team members in the problem-solving process, setting clear expectations, providing support and resources, and maintaining open lines of communication, it's possible to overcome any obstacles and work together effectively

Join thousands of companies

Start for free - update any time
Joining as an organisation? Contact sales