When we're being undermined by one person, we recognize the importance of seeking support from someone else. But it may be even more critical to invest in those supportive relationships when dealing with someone who's guilty of both undermining and supporting us.
It started innocently enough. A few flirty instant messages, followed by the occasional lunch hour spent browsing a nearby record store together. Before we knew it, we were making plans after work to go see a show by a band we both liked. And that night, my coworker kissed me.
At the beginning of a new round of work -- and, for that matter, at any other time that it becomes clear that the group can't do everything -- proactive prioritization of group objectives is absolutely necessary.
Is the gal or guy who perennially mopes in the cubicle nearby someone who might actually be an asset? At work, it's entirely possible that person who's depressed can indeed bring balance and a sense of realism to the proceedings.
Thinking requires confidence, but when a mistake can result in a public dressing down, your staff will lack that confidence, and won't risk independent action. They'll stick to the safer, non-thinking way.