I'm currently a project manager. I've been promoted this year, however I've been working as one for the last year.
Usually I try to keep a close relation with the team members. We go for lunch together and spend time doing stuff. I think this keeps the team closer and makes it easier to bond.
The problem I have is that there is a guy in my team who I can't stand. He is a good developer, hard working and a team player. Professionally I have no complaints at all. But from the personal side, he is quite sexist. He always says awkward things that make people uncomfortable and he generally breaks the good rhythm of the conversation.
What am I expected to do? Talking with him about this is rude and unprofessional as it is a personal issue. But not doing anything makes the team socially uncomfortable.
Thanks all for the info and the different points of view. I’ll update some info based on your inputs.
Answering to @Joe Strazzere, I’m his boss. Teams are stable and the project leader is the direct responsible for the members. As you say, if this affected a meeting I’d say it straight away. The problems come more with the social situations we are having (lunch, after work drinks, etc). I’m afraid this may move from a “we are a team of friends” to “we are a team of people working together”.
The point @2rs2ts is doing is quite correct. He is the kind of person that make some commentary that make people uncomfortable generating awkward silences and not realizing that he made it. Actually is a kind of situation I’ve faced in other environments and I’ve never found a way to deal with. The difference is that now it's related to work.
Also about the sexist thing, is more an attitude than anything he say. It’s more about personality than acts. If the offense was clear I would have a clear action to do and I wouldn’t need this post :) .
Answering to @Christopher Estep, I appreciate the input, but I’m not sure that it’s beneficial saying that a junior PM should quit a career path because he is having troubles with a specific social situation in his team. I’m quite sure you were excellent from the beginning in your job, but some of us need some time to get to it ;).
From the way I understand leading, it’s impossible to leave the feelings completely aside. We are humans and I sincerely think that friendship between team members can increase the productivity and results. We were having a great team community and I’m concerned about how this situation may affect it.
Based on all the inputs, what I’ll do is taking a bit of a step back and leaving the team itself lead the social events. I’ve seen quite a lot of managers giving more space to the team members so they can socialize in a more relaxed way. This may help them give clearer indications to the guy about what they like and what they don’t. I’m expecting that the environment will put him in the rest of the teams direction. At the same time, I’ve encouraged him to go with other people from the company as well so he can get a better sense of the company way for interacting.