Even monkeys fall from trees
Sometimes, despite an unblemished record, a key member will mess up on a job. They will blow it...BIG TIME. I know because I have been on the giving and receiving end of this. I have missed major appointments, incorrectly billed clients, you name it. We are all human. And because we all have a million things going on in our lives and an equal amount in the lives around us, things happen. They just do. When a tried and true member of our group stumbles or even falls don’t stand back and point your finger and laugh. Humbly and privately let them know that you would love to help them get back on track. Ask them if they need help. You have no idea what may have caused them do fall.
I have had key members show up drunk, not show up, do shoddy work, yell at clients, yell at members, get in fist fights in the meeting, get DUIs and be in the paper, and every other form of stupidity. I am not looking to throw stones because they messed up royally once. I want to help them. Chances are they are going to want to save face.
Remember that you have members showing up who were up all night with sick kids, had a huge fight with their spouse that day, get fired or laid off that day, find out they have a medical issue, be in the middle of divorce, or bankruptcy, or rehab. You just have no idea what is going on that caused them to change their normal behavior and fall.
My suggestion, if the relationship is there, take them out to coffee and say, “Tom, what you did last week was REALLY out of character for you. I am concerned. Would you like to talk?” Be prepared because Tom might share things with you he has never said out loud before. Just listen.