To clarify, this is actually my senior project for my university so no changes could be made personnel wise. However, I'd like to apply this situation to a workplace setting, as that's what it is, more or less.
I am the team lead on a team of 5, myself included. We have a client that we are building an app for. Currently, we were designing UI and functionality and going back and forth with the client to get confirmation before we begin writing code. One team member seems to not participate much in discussions and planning, will agree to what we're saying, but then will randomly make some sort of declaration or contrary decision. Here are some examples of what I mean:
- During a meeting, we briefly discussed if we should dress business casually for a meeting. We decided not to. The morning of he messages us all and says, "We should dress business casual to impress the client" and does it, while the rest of us did not because we were already on our way
- We discussed migrating our database to a new platform and all agreed to do it. Then later that night he messages us with some sort of library to make the old system work for what we needed to. He sent it and ended the message with "Therefore, we should keep what we have". We looked at this, and it really wasn't practical or really useful for us, and told him we would keep what we discussed
- Tuesday, we had a meeting and were discussing our tasks. We had been working on UI designs over messages and he did not participate or mention anything. Suddenly, at this meeting, he just says "I worked on some UI designs". Nobody knew he had worked on them, and the designs were really weird? to be honest, however there was an aspect of one page that we all liked. Another team member redid our layout with this idea, and we all agreed. I guess the person in question didn't check our messenger, as today he saw it and got upset. "My design looks so much cleaner". We tried to explain that we would have to do way more unnecessary work, and the style didn't match the rest of the app. He simply responded, "well, we'll see what the client says"
In these three events, I see that he's not fully present at our meetings and not on our messenger to discuss these things. Then he presents ideas to us, despite us discussing otherwise, that aren't doable or practical, and seems to feel down when we turn him down. I get the sense that he may want to take a more leadership role in the project, but at the same time he's not participating as he could.
What can I do to better include this team member in my team and reduce potential for friction in my group - or otherwise handle this situation?