Working with Difficult People


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  • Working with Difficult People 8/20/02 STC Orange County Chapter presented by Deirdre A. Murr
  • Working with Difficult People

    1. 1. Working with Difficult People
    2. 2. Let’s Know…… <ul><li>Why people are difficult </li></ul><ul><li>Types of difficult behavior </li></ul><ul><li>Coping skills and techniques to help you communicate </li></ul>
    3. 3. Why Are People Difficult? <ul><li>People feel </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Rushed — not enough time </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Insecure </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Angry </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>And have some need or interest </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Stressed!!! </li></ul>
    4. 4. Scenario 1
    5. 5. A Difficult Person Can Be ... <ul><li>Hostile-Aggressive </li></ul><ul><li>Know-It-All </li></ul><ul><li>Yes-Person </li></ul><ul><li>Whiner </li></ul><ul><li>Never-Say-A-Word </li></ul><ul><li>Indecisive Staller </li></ul><ul><li>No-Person </li></ul>
    6. 6. Hostile Aggressive AKA “The Tank” <ul><li>Bullies their way toward the results they want. </li></ul><ul><li>Belittles you in front of anyone. </li></ul><ul><li>Tries to convince you that you are doing a poor job when you are doing fine. </li></ul>
    7. 7. The Know-It-All <ul><li>Controls people and events by dominating conversation with lengthy, imperious arguments. </li></ul><ul><li>Tries to find flaws in everything. </li></ul>
    8. 8. The Yes-Person <ul><li>Answers “Yes” to every request without thinking about what is being promised . </li></ul><ul><li>Has deep-seated anxiety and a lot of resentment. </li></ul><ul><li>Seeks approval and avoids disapproval. </li></ul><ul><li>And even if all the promises can be kept, the Yes-Person no longer has a life! </li></ul>
    9. 9. The No-Person <ul><ul><li>Able to defeat big ideas with a single syllable </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Deadly to morale </li></ul></ul>
    10. 10. The Whiner <ul><li>Avoids taking responsibility. </li></ul><ul><li>Wants sympathy. </li></ul><ul><li>Has negative view of the world. </li></ul><ul><li>It’s important for these people to get their opinions across. If you ignore them, they increase their protests. </li></ul>
    11. 11. The Never-Say-A-Word AKA “The Clam” <ul><li>Timid, uncomfortable, and uncertain. </li></ul><ul><li>Wants to avoid conflict or hurting anyone. </li></ul><ul><li>Often feels angry because “the wrong decision” was made. </li></ul><ul><li>Some can’t relate authentically or speak honestly. </li></ul>
    12. 12. The Indecisive Staller <ul><li>Could be an overwhelmed “Yes-Person.” </li></ul><ul><li>Could be a procrastinator. </li></ul><ul><li>Has reservations about the project. </li></ul><ul><li>Doesn’t organize or prioritize work. </li></ul>
    13. 13. Difficult Person :Coping Plan 1.Assess the “Situation” 2. Stop wishing they were “different”! 3. Get distance between you and the difficult behavior 4. Formulate a plan for interrupting the interaction 5. Implement strategy 6. Monitor coping process 7. Modify or abandon plan, if necessary
    14. 14. Dealing with “The Tank” <ul><li>If possible, get them to sit down. </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t back down. Let them vent. Don’t take it personally. Step away from the emotion. </li></ul><ul><li>Identify their issue–the facts of the matter. </li></ul><ul><li>Explain benefits of your point of view. Express your side in factual terms. </li></ul><ul><li>Allow aggressor to “save face.” </li></ul>
    15. 15. Dealing with the Know-It-All <ul><li>Know your facts. Be prepared. </li></ul><ul><li>Listen carefully and paraphrase the main points. </li></ul><ul><li>Use questions to raise issues. </li></ul><ul><li>If necessary, subordinate yourself to avoid static and commit yourself to building a more equal relationship in the future. </li></ul>
    16. 16. Dealing with the Yes-Person <ul><li>Work to get to the underlying issues. </li></ul><ul><li>Tell how much you value them as people. </li></ul><ul><li>Give them permission to say “No.” </li></ul><ul><li>Ask them to tell about any aspect of your product that is not as good as the best. </li></ul><ul><li>Listen to their humor -- hidden messages? </li></ul>
    17. 17. Dealing with the No-Person <ul><li>Work to get to the underlying issues. </li></ul><ul><li>Find out the reason for disagreement </li></ul><ul><li>Show the other side </li></ul><ul><li>Show the benefits </li></ul>
    18. 18. Dealing with the Whiner <ul><li>Don’t respond if they are blaming you. Don’t sympathize if they are at fault. </li></ul><ul><li>Make a list of all complaints from constant complainers before you discuss problem. </li></ul><ul><li>Make sure the facts are correct. </li></ul><ul><li>Make the Whiner propose solutions to fix the problem. </li></ul>
    19. 19. Dealing with “The Clam” <ul><li>Try to draw them out about topics that are non-threatening. </li></ul><ul><li>Ask open-ended questions. </li></ul><ul><li>Wait for a response -- calmly. (Don’t fill the silence with your chatter.) </li></ul><ul><li>If you get no response, comment on what’s happening. End your comment with an open-ended question. </li></ul>
    20. 20. Dealing with the Staller <ul><li>Help document their goals and deadlines </li></ul><ul><li>Listen for indirect words, hesitations. </li></ul><ul><li>Ask them how you can help them achieve their goals. </li></ul><ul><li>Follow up on intermediate deadlines. Hold them to the deadlines. </li></ul><ul><li>Make it easy for them to tell you what is preventing their action. </li></ul>
    21. 21. Scenario 2
    22. 22. And What About You...
    23. 23. It’s All About ATTITUDE! <ul><li>You are not going to change THEM. </li></ul><ul><li>You will have to work with THEM. </li></ul><ul><li>You are the one who can make the change. </li></ul><ul><li>Make it happen! </li></ul><ul><li>Be Positive </li></ul>
    24. 24. Principles of Human Behavior <ul><li>All people are motivated . </li></ul><ul><li>You cannot motivate others ; you can provide the environment, skills, etc. </li></ul><ul><li>People do things for their reasons, not ours. </li></ul><ul><li>We are all different ... Relationships should complement and complete each other. </li></ul>
    25. 25. Communication Is The Key... <ul><li>Be clear about what is to be done. </li></ul><ul><li>Be clear about who is to do it. </li></ul><ul><li>Two parts to the message </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Speaker has an image </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Listener has an image </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Are they the same? </li></ul></ul>
    26. 26. Offline Coping Techniques <ul><li>Don’t take their behavior or words personally. </li></ul><ul><li>Write down details of what annoys you. </li></ul><ul><li>Think about why it annoys you. </li></ul><ul><li>Which of your buttons does this person push? Why do you respond to them in the way you do? </li></ul>
    27. 27. Offline Coping Techniques (continued) <ul><li>How would you like to respond? List the advantages of different responses. </li></ul><ul><li>Monitor yourself. </li></ul><ul><li>Give yourself positive feedback when you succeed in not getting caught up in the emotions of difficult people. </li></ul><ul><li>Be a happier person by handling all those you encounter with charm and grace. </li></ul>