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I am a technical team lead, and a such the primary contact between customers and consultants when it comes to assigning consultants technically. Recently our customer made me aware that one of our consultants has communications problem in the team with technical persons on the customers side. I know this consultants mindset, talked to the managers, involved and the decision is to move the consultant to another customer.

Now I would like to know if there is a kind of playbook on when to tell what.

  • At which point should I inform the consultant that the decision is done?

  • Who should do that (Line Manager or technical lead)?

  • Is it clever to explain the reasoning in detail, or is it better to plainly state "Project lead and management decided"? (IMO I don't care so much in the consultant will hold a grudge against me as long as they work decently with the customer for the remaining time).

  • The consultant had some hopes of staying long-term at the customer and rise to a technical lead position there. How honest and open should I be about the reasons why this will not take place?

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    Are you expecting this person to be working for you for much longer? – Erik Jan 14 '18 at 18:24
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    I think a lot of this depends on whether you'd say it was the consultant's fault or not - is he having communication problems because he's being flat out rude, because he's (for example) genuinely struggling to understand accents, or something else entirely? – berry120 Jan 14 '18 at 18:43
  • Seems like you should have talked to the employee about the situation. Do you have a game plan for correcting the behavior? – paparazzo Jan 15 '18 at 13:11
  • @erik: we would hope to keep the consultant, if we can adress some issues. I would not expect it if this goes downhill uncorntrolled. – Sascha Jan 15 '18 at 20:07
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    @berry120: complicated question. A combination of personality and an environment in which communication is more important than usual. At many other place this person would be exceptional; at this customer average from the technical viewpoint and below average from the communcations viepoint.. – Sascha Jan 15 '18 at 20:11
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I know this consultants mindset, talked to the managers, involved and the decision is to move the consultant to another customer.

To me this is a problem, since everyone was involved except for the one that could actively fix it: the consultant.

Have you had an open discussion with him regarding the problem? Maybe he isn't even aware of it and doesn't change because he doesn't see a reason to. I'd venture and guess said employee will become fairly frustrated being dismissed from a project without even having a chance to improve, particularly one where he set some expectations.

All of this is based on the assumption that his behavior isn't critically rude and/or misplaced, rather being a mild problem.

Besides from that, I am a firm defender of honesty in both directions, and you can even use the opportunity as a chance to make sure the problem doesn't occur somewhere else. Just sending him off to a different client without proper and frontal communication of the reason is an excelent way to make sure it will happen again.

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    We discussed some points with the consultant, but the change was no fast enough. – Sascha Jan 15 '18 at 20:12
  • if that's the case I'd recommend updating the original question to avoid further misunderstandings. – ricardo silva Jan 16 '18 at 9:47

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