Posted by: ahmedashfaque | September 25, 2014

How to deal with difficult people on projects – part 4

In part 3 of this series of posts, we had seen how an unfit person needs to be counseled and helped out. In today’s post, we will see how a person with personal problems can be counseled and made productive.

When i was working with a New Jersey based consulting firm, I had a colleague who was technically very competent as well as productive on the project. He was punctual and always completed his assignments on time. he was in fact my star performer. But suddenly his performance started dipping. he could not finish his assignments on time. he would come to office late and leave early. I was puzzled as to what happened to my star performer.

One day i called him in my office. I asked him how things are going. Then i asked him about his deteriorating performance. He said he will improve and next time he will finish his assignment on time. He then left.

for some time his performance again improved. He was doing his job very well. But after some time his performance started deteriorating again. Now I was concerned. I knew that it has to do with some of his personal problems. I started investigating about this matter. from formal conversations with my colleagues i came to know that this guy was going to be married soon. He was developing jitters about future married life. In a way he was not prepared for marriage yet. But as people know, in India, they have arranged marriages. this guy got engaged with a girl in India during his last trip to India. now as the marriage date was approaching fast, he was not able to cope with expectations as well as he might have developed some bad assumptions about married life.

I am myself is from India and know these things very well. Armed with the cause of the performance deterioration of this guy, I was confident of solving this problem easily. I called this guy not in office but in a restaurant on a week end. i ordered his favorite Indian dishes and started chatting with him. I told him about my own married life and how i have made my married life successful. I told him what women expect from men. What he should be prepared for and expected of from his future wife. i told him not to worry about some imaginary problems and live life happily. i also offered him to give advice on any issues he thought he had about his future life. The guy became comfortable after this meeting. Now his performance improved and became a star performer again.

Lessons learned

Sometimes due to personal problems some people’s performance on the job get deteriorated. They need to be counseled properly so that they can become good performer again.



  1. […] last few days we have been discussing about dealing with difficult people on the projects. The last post was about a person not able to deal with his personal problem and was needing counseling. In this […]

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