Dealing with Difficult People
Difficult People & Conflict <ul><li>•  Can be anyone </li></ul><ul><li>–  even YOU! </li></ul><ul><li>•  People are diffic...
Difficult People & Conflict <ul><li>•  Conflict can result  </li></ul><ul><li>in an uncomfortable </li></ul><ul><li>enviro...
Types of Difficult People <ul><li>Bulldozer </li></ul><ul><li>Bullies </li></ul><ul><li>Firehose </li></ul><ul><li>Staller...
The Bulldozer <ul><li>•  Know it all </li></ul><ul><li>•  Often use threats, sarcasm, intimidation </li></ul>
Dealing with Dozers <ul><li>Prepare yourself </li></ul><ul><li>•  Ask questions </li></ul><ul><li>•  Focus on solution </l...
Bullies <ul><li>•  Loud and hostile </li></ul><ul><li>•  Abusive </li></ul><ul><li>•  Overwhelm you </li></ul>
Battling Bullies <ul><li>•  Let them run down </li></ul><ul><li>•  Get their attention </li></ul><ul><li>•  State your poi...
Mr or Mrs Negativity <ul><li>•  Dampen Enthusiasm </li></ul><ul><li>•  Everything will fail </li></ul><ul><li>•  Negative ...
Drain the Fire Hose <ul><li>•  Don’t be dragged down </li></ul><ul><li>•  Don’t argue </li></ul><ul><li>•  Listen – then a...
Stallers <ul><li>•  Reluctant to turn down requests </li></ul><ul><li>•  Want to be liked </li></ul><ul><li>•  Afraid or u...
Sideline the Stallers <ul><li>•  Surface hidden concerns </li></ul><ul><li>•  Help them resolve the problem </li></ul><ul>...
Silent Types <ul><li>•  Silent/unresponsive </li></ul><ul><li>•  Answer with a grunt </li></ul><ul><li>•  Turn away from  ...
Open the Silent Ones <ul><li>•  Meet with them individually </li></ul><ul><li>•  Give them time to open up </li></ul><ul><...
Indecisives <ul><li>•  Super helpful – but . . . </li></ul><ul><li>•  Postpone decisions </li></ul><ul><li>•  Hint and bea...
Resolve Indecision <ul><li>•  Address fears with “what if” questions </li></ul><ul><li>•  Help resolve problems when issue...
Sniper <ul><li>•  Exclude key people </li></ul><ul><li>•  Withhold information </li></ul><ul><li>•  Use hidden attacks,  <...
Unload the Sniper <ul><li>•  Surface the attack </li></ul><ul><li>•  Provide peaceful alternative </li></ul><ul><li>•  Bri...
Control Freak <ul><li>•  Get into everyone’s  </li></ul><ul><li>business </li></ul><ul><li>•  Undermine and insult  </li><...
Reduce Controllers <ul><li>Build trust </li></ul><ul><li>•  Take small steps toward more authority </li></ul><ul><li>•  Ke...
Super-Agreeables <ul><li>•  Very personable </li></ul><ul><li>•  Don’t act the  </li></ul><ul><li>way they say they </li><...
Dealing with Super-Agreeables <ul><li>•  Show them you like them </li></ul><ul><li>•  Prevent unrealistic commitments </li...
Its Not Up to Me <ul><li>Always point  </li></ul><ul><li>to higher authority </li></ul><ul><li>•  Invokes other </li></ul>...
Let’s Ask the Authority <ul><li>Tell them you will both speak to the </li></ul><ul><li>higher authority </li></ul>
Helpful Hints <ul><li>•  Don’t escalate </li></ul><ul><li>•  Focus on what a person is trying to say </li></ul><ul><li>•  ...
More Helpful Hints <ul><li>•  Blame the process, not the person </li></ul><ul><li>•  Be specific </li></ul><ul><li>•  Avoi...
Resources <ul><li>14 Workplace Personalities and How to Handle Them – iVillage, </li></ul><ul><li>http://www.ivillage.com/...
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Dealing with difficult people brooke

  1. 1. Dealing with Difficult People
  2. 2. Difficult People & Conflict <ul><li>• Can be anyone </li></ul><ul><li>– even YOU! </li></ul><ul><li>• People are difficult because it works for them. </li></ul><ul><li>• Dealing with them can cause conflict </li></ul>
  3. 3. Difficult People & Conflict <ul><li>• Conflict can result </li></ul><ul><li>in an uncomfortable </li></ul><ul><li>environment </li></ul><ul><li>• Difficult behavior </li></ul><ul><li>causes stress in others </li></ul><ul><li>• Conflict can reduce </li></ul><ul><li>an organizations </li></ul><ul><li>effectiveness </li></ul>
  4. 4. Types of Difficult People <ul><li>Bulldozer </li></ul><ul><li>Bullies </li></ul><ul><li>Firehose </li></ul><ul><li>Stallers/Wafflers </li></ul><ul><li>Silent Types </li></ul><ul><li>Indecisives </li></ul><ul><li>Sniper </li></ul><ul><li>Control Freak </li></ul><ul><li>Super-Agreeables </li></ul><ul><li>It’s Not Up To Me </li></ul>
  5. 5. The Bulldozer <ul><li>• Know it all </li></ul><ul><li>• Often use threats, sarcasm, intimidation </li></ul>
  6. 6. Dealing with Dozers <ul><li>Prepare yourself </li></ul><ul><li>• Ask questions </li></ul><ul><li>• Focus on solution </li></ul><ul><li>• Do not confront them </li></ul>
  7. 7. Bullies <ul><li>• Loud and hostile </li></ul><ul><li>• Abusive </li></ul><ul><li>• Overwhelm you </li></ul>
  8. 8. Battling Bullies <ul><li>• Let them run down </li></ul><ul><li>• Get their attention </li></ul><ul><li>• State your point non-aggressively </li></ul><ul><li>• Don’t allow interruptions </li></ul><ul><li>• Ask them to leave </li></ul>
  9. 9. Mr or Mrs Negativity <ul><li>• Dampen Enthusiasm </li></ul><ul><li>• Everything will fail </li></ul><ul><li>• Negative statements </li></ul><ul><li>• Constantly </li></ul><ul><li>complaining </li></ul>
  10. 10. Drain the Fire Hose <ul><li>• Don’t be dragged down </li></ul><ul><li>• Don’t argue </li></ul><ul><li>• Listen – then ask for alternatives </li></ul><ul><li>• Don’t agree or apologize </li></ul><ul><li>• Switch to problem solving </li></ul><ul><li>• Take action on your own </li></ul>
  11. 11. Stallers <ul><li>• Reluctant to turn down requests </li></ul><ul><li>• Want to be liked </li></ul><ul><li>• Afraid or unable to manage </li></ul><ul><li>• Paralyzed by tough decisions </li></ul>
  12. 12. Sideline the Stallers <ul><li>• Surface hidden concerns </li></ul><ul><li>• Help them resolve the problem </li></ul><ul><li>• You make the decision – with caution </li></ul><ul><li>• Support decisions </li></ul><ul><li>• Keep control of situation </li></ul>
  13. 13. Silent Types <ul><li>• Silent/unresponsive </li></ul><ul><li>• Answer with a grunt </li></ul><ul><li>• Turn away from </li></ul><ul><li>people </li></ul><ul><li>• Pretend nothing </li></ul><ul><li>happened </li></ul>
  14. 14. Open the Silent Ones <ul><li>• Meet with them individually </li></ul><ul><li>• Give them time to open up </li></ul><ul><li>• Ask open-ended questions </li></ul><ul><li>• Wait for a response </li></ul><ul><li>• If no comments – comment on what’s </li></ul><ul><li>happening </li></ul>
  15. 15. Indecisives <ul><li>• Super helpful – but . . . </li></ul><ul><li>• Postpone decisions </li></ul><ul><li>• Hint and beat around the bush </li></ul>
  16. 16. Resolve Indecision <ul><li>• Address fears with “what if” questions </li></ul><ul><li>• Help resolve problems when issues </li></ul><ul><li>surface </li></ul><ul><li>• Help examine facts </li></ul><ul><li>• Watch for anger or withdrawal </li></ul>
  17. 17. Sniper <ul><li>• Exclude key people </li></ul><ul><li>• Withhold information </li></ul><ul><li>• Use hidden attacks, </li></ul><ul><li>innuendoes, digs, </li></ul><ul><li>non-playful teasing </li></ul><ul><li>• Wreck havoc and </li></ul><ul><li>you don’t see them </li></ul>
  18. 18. Unload the Sniper <ul><li>• Surface the attack </li></ul><ul><li>• Provide peaceful alternative </li></ul><ul><li>• Bring resistance into the open </li></ul><ul><li>• Seek group confirmation or denial of </li></ul><ul><li>snipers criticism </li></ul><ul><li>• Use coaching/counseling if assigned </li></ul><ul><li>tasks not done </li></ul>
  19. 19. Control Freak <ul><li>• Get into everyone’s </li></ul><ul><li>business </li></ul><ul><li>• Undermine and insult </li></ul><ul><li>abilities </li></ul><ul><li>• Lack confidence & trust </li></ul><ul><li>• Insufferable – render subordinates </li></ul><ul><li>ineffective </li></ul>
  20. 20. Reduce Controllers <ul><li>Build trust </li></ul><ul><li>• Take small steps toward more authority </li></ul><ul><li>• Keep focused on solution </li></ul><ul><li>• Speak from your own view-point </li></ul><ul><li>• Don’t let yourself be verbally abused </li></ul>
  21. 21. Super-Agreeables <ul><li>• Very personable </li></ul><ul><li>• Don’t act the </li></ul><ul><li>way they say they </li></ul><ul><li>will </li></ul><ul><li>• Supportive but </li></ul><ul><li>don’t deliver </li></ul>
  22. 22. Dealing with Super-Agreeables <ul><li>• Show them you like them </li></ul><ul><li>• Prevent unrealistic commitments </li></ul><ul><li>• Make honesty non-threatening </li></ul><ul><li>• Point out inconsistencies </li></ul><ul><li>in behavior </li></ul><ul><li>• Work for a mutual </li></ul><ul><li>benefit </li></ul><ul><li>• Listen carefully to jokes </li></ul>
  23. 23. Its Not Up to Me <ul><li>Always point </li></ul><ul><li>to higher authority </li></ul><ul><li>• Invokes other </li></ul><ul><li>powers </li></ul>
  24. 24. Let’s Ask the Authority <ul><li>Tell them you will both speak to the </li></ul><ul><li>higher authority </li></ul>
  25. 25. Helpful Hints <ul><li>• Don’t escalate </li></ul><ul><li>• Focus on what a person is trying to say </li></ul><ul><li>• Avoid being purposefully hurtful </li></ul><ul><li>• Model behavior you want </li></ul><ul><li>• Focus on solutions </li></ul><ul><li>• Maintain eye contact </li></ul>
  26. 26. More Helpful Hints <ul><li>• Blame the process, not the person </li></ul><ul><li>• Be specific </li></ul><ul><li>• Avoid always and never </li></ul><ul><li>• Avoid name calling </li></ul><ul><li>• Encourage listening </li></ul><ul><li>• Confront in private – praise in public </li></ul><ul><li>• Use your communication skills! </li></ul>
  27. 27. Resources <ul><li>14 Workplace Personalities and How to Handle Them – iVillage, </li></ul><ul><li>http://www.ivillage.com/work/job/succeed/articles/0,,187833_245505, </li></ul><ul><li>00.html </li></ul><ul><li>• Online Newsletter, Dealing with Difficult People, March 1999, </li></ul><ul><li>http://www.itstime.com/print/mar99p.htm </li></ul><ul><li>• Techniques for Dealing with Difficult People, Ag Decision Maker, John </li></ul><ul><li>Baker, Iowa State University, Iowa Extension, October 1999 </li></ul><ul><li>• Dealing with Difficult People, </li></ul><ul><li>http://www.bethanyhome.org/dealing_with_difficult_people.htm </li></ul><ul><li>• Dealing with Difficult People/Situations: Role of the Extension </li></ul><ul><li>Committee Member, University of Minnesota Extension Service </li></ul><ul><li>• Dealing with Difficult Members, University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, </li></ul><ul><li>http://www.uwec.edu/DC/AP/complexthoughts/Dealing_w_Difficult_Mb </li></ul><ul><li>rs.html </li></ul><ul><li>• Games People Play, Presentation to BVHRMA, May 1, 2003, Jan </li></ul><ul><li>Pfannstiel, SPHR </li></ul><ul><li>• Welch, Ben D., Phd, Interpersonal Relations Skills, Presentation at </li></ul><ul><li>TAMU and Dealing with Difficult People, presentation June 19, 1998 </li></ul>
  28. 28. Thank You for Listening
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