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Here are some suggestions to spur coworkers to cooperate without nagging them:

Be direct. If you want something done, ask. Coworkers can resist hints and innuendoes.

Ban blaming. Finding fault can prevent both sides from seeking another way to solve a problem. If you're blamed, let it slide and say, "Let's look at the facts."

Stay focused. Don't generalize by saying, "You never finish on time." Note only the current offense. Ask, "How can I help you finish on time next time?"

Negotiate. Instead of demanding, ask, "What do you need to finish this by the deadline?" then suggest ways to help.

Realign priorities. People who don't cooperate have different priorities. To make theirs the same as yours, show how you both will benefit by completing the task. Example: "Once we get this done, we'll be able to move on to that project you wanted to do."

Say less. Some people resent following orders, so be subtle. Example: Post an itemized goal list.

Let it go. If you find yourself nagging others too much, it may be time to evaluate your own duties. Are you trying to compensate for your own lack of progress? Recognize the time and effort colleagues put into the process.


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