How to Deal with The Non-Cooperative Office Mate


Before I get into details, let me ask you one question: “are you sure that it is not you the one who isn’t cooperative?” :D.

In the office, it is not rare for us to have such kind of colleague whom always hard to be asked for their cooperation. Whatever cooperation that might be, say from asking help for simple monthly cost data, participation in a meeting that you held, to a difficult analysis material that can only got authorized from their department. Many other incidents I believe you have encountered in the office, they even can be worse from what I’ve mentioned. But no worries. It’s a natural basis occasion, very common thing. It’s just like the chaos on Friday evening in Jakarta. Never very surprising.

Before judging them, things you need to know are the reasons behind their non-cooperative action. They might be on a
very tight schedule that they can’t spare time to send you copy of monthly cost data, they might be in an urgent meeting with their bosses, or they might can’t get approval to share the authorized analysis that you requested.

For whatever kind of reasons, your colleague is just same like you. They have their own pressure and you can’t understand what kind of stress they are facing.

Admit it yourself that there are times you can transform to that scumbag colleague who can be not-cooperative too. Well, here is my confession. When I have too many tasks in hand, I can be one of them.

However, to encounter them you must have a special weapon. Specifically when you’re dealing with the people that by nature is just very hard. Nevertheless, regardless it is on their nature or their situation, here are some tips that might help you out to handle them:

  • Ask very early for help prior to deadline. If you need assistance from other colleagues in another department, regardless they are that kind of hard to cooperate person or not, ask for their help very early prior to your deadline. Because you never know what kind of burdens they are holding to, and you wouldn’t know where they’d put your request on their to-do-list. Respect their time and your inquiries will be respected too.
  • Do not insist. This is something that you should never do to anyone in the office. Once you ask for someone’s help, and they said yes to it, just wait patiently (in the period of time that you mentioned). Never ask and ask and ask again. It’s annoying and will make people get upset, they might even send the analysis you requested in a longer period. Try to put yourself in their shoes. In my experience, I hate being asked many times about something that is required and can only be done by me. If I said I will send it, just wait there calmly, I won’t forget about it, and I will send it. Well, they may remind me once, but never repeat it. Bear in mind that everyone have their own priority. 🙂
  • Help them to help you. This is something that most of people will most likely forget about. When someone needs something, usually they will just throw that emails to the certain person asking for help. But the thing that most people never really aware is they never know that the thing they requested is not as simple as requesting their boyfriend to watch Civil War on Sunday afternoon. You should acknowledge their obstacle. Help them to help you. Especially when they do not instantly accept your request, ask them what are the problems they are facing to fulfill you inquiry, and help them. For example, if the finance department say that in order to approve your new budget proposal they need a deep detail cost element analysis by you, then get your arse back to work. Prepare those in details, and never expect them to approve your budget proposal quickly just by giving them mediocre analysis.
  • Be nice. For whatever kind of pressure you have, always be nice and gentle when requesting for help from your office mate. No matter how you boast that the tasks is wanted quickly by the Board, always ask for favor in a nice gesture. Don’t try to rush people to do what you want by boasting that you’re being watched by your superior management (even if it’s true). It’s just not right. 😊
  • Be patient. Be patient but still professional. Before asking something from your colleague, explain thoroughly about the situation. Why it’s needed, when will it be used effectively, and what kind of impact does it give to the company. Make your colleague understand well, be patient, and trust me they will help you sincerely.

Well, it’s been a pretty rough weeks lately. One of the problem I was facing in the office is related to this article. But don’t worry, I can endure it. 😄 So, how’s your days? Everything’s smooth?

If this article helps because you find you have the same problem with me, please share to others! I believe this is an issue that everyone’s facing in their daily basis!

Ikra Loveni

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