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What to Do When You Don't Play Nice With Others


Everyone has a role to play in the entrepreneurial process. If you find yourself struggling on your team, try these tactics.

Kids in sandbox

Everyone seems to think that the keys to the kingdom belong to those who play nice together. Team-building, virtual teams, and being a team player are what employers want and co-workers seek. Here are some tips on how to deal with Tommy Temper.

Best case, those who don't play nice together would see their blind spots and rehabilitate themselves. Unfortunately, years of habits are hard to break and most people will elect to do the work-around. Here are some tactics:

1. When you get thrown off a committee or asked to “consider retirement,” take it as a message that you are no longer wanted and move on.

2. Focus on your strengths as a loner or independent and contribute in your own way. Not being beholden to a group gives you an independent perspective. Solitude breeds creativity.

3. Be sensitive to cues that you are not going to be chosen to be on the playground pickup team. Suddenly, people don't respond to your emails.

4. Do not be vindictive or retaliate. Success is the best revenge.

5. There are many examples of successful people who followed the path less traveled on their own.

6. The world is a small, round place so don't be surprised when someone comes knocking on your door many years later wanting something from you.

7. Focus on results and let actions speak louder than words.

8. Find your sweet spot. You might be better off a “big picture, ideas” person rather than an execution person.

9. Be prepared to offload your ideas and move on to the next one.

10. Worst case, learn to get along with others.

Everyone has a role to play in the entrepreneurial process. They can be introverts, extroverts, ambiverts, loners, team players, or just crazy. Find a way to work with all kinds. After all, we've all been part of teams, committees, work groups, and project teams. How's that working for you?

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Victor J. Dzau, MD, gives expert advice
Victor J. Dzau, MD, gives expert advice