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!

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