If one doesn’t cooperate, find a corner.

Every one of us comes across a situation, in the profession, society or family, when one member of the group is ruthlessly non-cooperative, or non-performing. It affects the performance of the whole team, as the strength of the chain is not more than its weakest link. Dealing with such an individual becomes so difficult that we simply avoid facing him/her. It creates an embarrassing situation to engage with him/her on any issue. The presence of such a team member affects the achievement of the whole team, discourages other performing members, and demotivates everyone. So what’s the solution? Easy guess, change the person.

What if it is not possible to get rid of such a character? Well, it might be a harsh reality but sometimes we have to face it. That person stays there, right in front of our eyes, not doing anything, just poking us on every occasion, creating irritation and hurdles in work – but we remain helpless. Such situation may also lead to interpersonal issues, individual-level frictions and bitterness in the work place or social atmosphere. Still, s/he would stand defiant and incorrigible, especially if it is an attitudinal issue. It is because some people cannot see things from others’ perspectives, and are completely self-centred. It is also possible that s/he is behaving in that particular way only with you, adamant to fail you, irritate you and harass you.

For the sake of peace of mind and efficiency of yourself and productivity of the organisation, it is better – not ideal – to leave that person alone, and keep doing whatever possible good work you can do with other team members. Obviously, management gurus would advise against leaving aside any employee, and plead for a team-building approach, but it is easier said than done. Therefore, without waiting any longer, or being self-critical for the reason of someone being unreformable, it is better to focus on the available strength and deliver the best possible result. After all, in every team, there are a few underperformers, some are critical and maybe even a few are anti-agenda. It is never an ideal situation in any organisation, all forces never work together. Self-guilt doesn’t help, but self-reliance does. So, wishing all the best to that person, keep working without relying on him/her in your social, professional or family set-up. Now, at least you will know who to count upon. You will have a fair assessment of your resources. So, especially in short duration projects, apply this strategy – if someone doesn’t cooperate, find a corner!

Don’t miss the follow up email !

You may meet some new people at an event, exchange cards, promise to get in touch soon, and then forget. Or at least they forget you by the time you engage with them again. This is very common for those who are in public life and happen to attend multiple events, meetings or parties. How to make the first meeting convert into a professional or personal contact is a skill that not many people could master.

Therefore, in marketing and sales, only those who succeed know how to cultivate, maintain and strengthen their contacts. Everyone, at the senior level in an organisation, needs to develop this expertise for professional success. The best way to make connections is by following up. Yes, it means consistency, perseverance and all those words that we have been reading in motivational books. Although here we are talking of professional success, making new associations and keeping them strong.

It can be done through a follow-up email or message. There are some smart people who promptly send an introductory email the very next day after their first acquaintance has been established. Some of them also offer to meet for a coffee or lunch or request a formal meeting. It is a very effective way to pursue, we would agree. However, we also come across people who are so cheesy. They overdo it by making unscheduled calls, and taking a long time in chit-chatting without asking the other person’s convenience or willingness. This is a sure way to burn that contact. Enthusiasts who do not want to leave any stone unturned in making their way up, often make this mistake of exaggeration. Understanding that no one would like to get close to you immediately after the first meeting is also important. So that your efforts are reasonable and moderate.

In professional relations, it is a mutual benefit that matters most, not only one party’s willingness to remain in touch. Yet, even the highest-ranking executives tend to like a person who persists in appointments and shows diligence. More often than not, it is probable that the other person does not have time to initiate such an email or message. It becomes the duty of the new contact, especially the junior ones, to initiate and proceed with that relationship. Of course, you don’t want to, because of the limitation of time and resources, follow up on every individual you meet, but wherever you would like to – don’t forget to send an email the very next working day.