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Dealing with difficult people


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Dealing with difficult people

  1. 1. 33 99 11 66 88 22 1010 44 77 55
  2. 2. Difficult PeopleDifficult People Roles - Stakeholders, Team members, Vendors, Users Levels - Senior Managers, Developers, Admin, Peers Degrees of Difficulty
  3. 3. YOUR CLASS PROJECTYOUR CLASS PROJECTCommonSituation You are in a group for a class project and one of your group members is not doing ANY of the work and has failed to hand in their portion of the assignment. Meanwhile, there is another group member who is being very controlling and has taken it upon themselves to do all of the project and to edit the work you’ve handed in.
  4. 4. YOUR CLASS PROJECTYOUR CLASS PROJECTCommonSituation As a group member who doesn’t want to do others work but wants to contribute to the group, HOW would you approach these two people and give them constructive feedback?
  5. 5. Understanding Difficult BehaviorUnderstanding Difficult Behavior Who is the difficult? In general: Someone exhibiting negative behavior with most people, most of the time For you: A colleague exhibiting negative behavior towards you
  6. 6. Understanding Difficult BehaviorUnderstanding Difficult Behavior Difficult people are usually a result of conflicting personalities not because of intentional behaviors If you notice someone is more difficult around you than others, it may be because your personalities clash
  7. 7. Understanding Difficult BehaviorUnderstanding Difficult Behavior It’s important to remember we can all be difficult whether we mean to or not NO FEAR! I’ll give you some tips to help you deal…
  8. 8. The 4 StrategiesThe 4 Strategies Change YOUR Attitude Change THEIR Attitude Take a Stand RUN
  9. 9. Check your perception See beyond “difficult” Understand their point of view Change YOUR AttitudeChange YOUR Attitude
  10. 10. Understand why they are difficult Show them another angle Help them see you as a person Change THEIR AttitudeChange THEIR Attitude
  11. 11. Take a StandTake a Stand Used when: Your attitude is not the problem You cannot change their attitude It goes beyond attitude to hurtful actions Running is too costly
  12. 12. How to Take a StandHow to Take a Stand Understand your options Develop a strategy Confront and collaborate (good guy) The “or else” (bad guy) Take action Persevere
  13. 13. RUNRUN Last resort Used when you have nothing to gain from: Change YOUR Attitude Change THEIR Attitude Take a Stand
  14. 14. Types of Difficult PeopleTypes of Difficult People Silent Complainer Sniper Aggressive Cranky
  15. 15. Cranky PeopleCranky People Some people may be purposefully cranky because it helps them get their own way. For others, crankiness is simply a reflection of their own inner turmoil. Why are people cranky?
  16. 16. How to Deal with Cranky PeopleHow to Deal with Cranky People Try to determine the real message the person is telling you. Are you any part of the problem? What can you change about your own behavior? Don’t remain silent. Agree with any part of the cranky person’s statement that may be true. In a neutral tone of voice say, “Would you please speak to me in a calmer tone of
  17. 17. Aggressive PeopleAggressive People Overly aggressive people expect others to either: ◦ Run away from them ◦ React with rage Why are people aggressive?
  18. 18. How to Deal with AggressiveHow to Deal with Aggressive PeoplePeople Stand up to them, but don’t fight. Wait for them to run out of some steam. Call the hostile person by name and assert your own opinions with confidence. ◦ “Hani, you interrupted me. We can discuss my project scope after you listen to it.”
  19. 19. Subtle SnipersSubtle Snipers These people are experts in pot shots and sneak attacks in subtle ways, such as: ◦ Humorous put downs ◦ Sarcastic tones of voice ◦ Disapproving looks ◦ Innuendos
  20. 20. How to Deal with SubtleHow to Deal with Subtle SnipersSnipers Respond to the sniper with a question. ◦ “That sounds like you’re making fun of me. Are you?” ◦ “What are you trying to tell me with that look?” ◦ “Did you really mean what you said?” A sniper will usually respond with denial or volley the responsibility to you. ◦ “I’m only joking.” ◦ “You’re so serious. Can’t you take a joke?” Speaking up lessens the chance of similar attacks in the future.
  21. 21. ComplainersComplainers These are fearful people who have little faith in themselves or others because they believe in a hostile world. Their constant discouragement and complaining can bring everyone to despair.
  22. 22. How to Deal with ComplainersHow to Deal with Complainers Don’t try to argue them out of their negativity. Respond with your own optimistic expectations. ◦ “I think that everything will turn out great.” ◦ “I am sure we will get done on time.”
  23. 23. Silent PeopleSilent People They are timid people who retreat into their shells to avoid conflict and responsibility. They get away with not talking because most people are uncomfortable with silence and are too quick to fill in the gaps.
  24. 24. How to Deal with Silent PeopleHow to Deal with Silent People Ask them questions that cannot be answered with just a “yes” or “no”, such as: ◦ “Would you please help me understand the problem you are facing?” Wait at least one full minute. Then, if the silent person won’t respond, set another date to discuss the matter.
  25. 25. Do Not ... A difficult person’s behavior is habitual. He behaves this way with most people. Don’t take the difficult person’s behavior personally. Don’t make excuses for the difficult person’s behavior. Think of other people who have faced adversity and have not become difficult. You lose control when you make excuses for difficult people.
  26. 26. Do Not ... Don’t try to beat them at their own game. They have been practicing their skills for a long time, and you are a beginner by comparison. Don’t fight back. Don’t try to appease them. It won’t work because difficult people have an insatiable appetite for more.
  27. 27. Do Not ... You can’t change other people. You can only change your response to their behavior. By changing your responses, they may decide to change…or they may not. However, you will feel better. Don’t try to change the difficult person.