Dealing With Difficult Personalities ... Dealing With Difficult Personalities 2 Confidential ¢â‚¬â€œ Not

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  • Dealing With Difficult Personalities

  • Shepell.fgi 2 Confidential – Not for Distribution


    In this seminar, we will …

    • Discuss what a ‘difficult person’ is

    • Identify common types of difficult people

    • Gain an understanding of peoples’ motivations and needs

    • Learn TIPS for dealing with difficult people

    • Recognize areas for personal development!

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    What is a ‘Difficult Person’?

    Difficult behaviour:

    Bothers YOU personally, but may not bother everyone, may not be constant, and isn’t universally negative. A ‘difficult person’:

    Is someone who exhibits difficult behaviour in a way that bothers MANY people, MOST of the time, and is most often unhelpful or disruptive.

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    Types of Difficult Personalities

    Bully Gossip



    Martyr Complainer






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    Motivations: POWER and LOOKING GOOD

    Behaviours: Aggressive, arrogant, pushy, rude & demeaning

    Helpful Tips:

    • Stand up to bullying behaviour

    • Respond to friendly overtures

    • Don’t embarrass them

    • Get the result by sharing the credit

    • Stroke their ego

    • Remind them to be a ‘team-player’

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    Motivations: ATTENTION and POPULARITY

    Behaviours: Gossiping, backstabbing, attention-seeking

    Helpful Tips:

    • Share your discomfort with gossiping

    • Don’t confide in them

    • Don’t participate in listening to their stories

    • Defend the people who aren’t present

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    People Pleaser


    Behaviours: Passive, over committing, indecisive

    Helpful Tips: • Challenge their over-commitments

    • Encourage them to express their displeasure

    • Coach them to stand up for themselves

    • Help them to recognize when others are taking advantage

    • Teach them to say ‘no’

    • Remind them they can’t please everyone

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    Motivations: SYMPATHY and ATTENTION

    Behaviours: Complain, melodramatic, attention-seekers

    Helpful Tips:

    • Cautiously offer empathy

    • Say ‘no’ to their volunteering

    • Help them to manage their time better

    • Do not fall into the trap of feeling guilty

    • Recognize any truth in their complaints and fix the situation

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    Behaviours: Complaining, negativity, critical of others, worrier

    Helpful Tips:

    • Create an environment where complainer feels heard

    • Listen without passing judgment

    • Assign them to problem-solving tasks

    • Protect your own attitude

    • Don’t join and begin to complain yourself

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    Motivations: EGO, ACCURACY and CONTROL

    Behaviours: Arrogant, perfectionist, wants their way, nit-picky

    Helpful Tips: • Don’t be too quick to dismiss the ideas

    • Acknowledge their expertise

    • Know your facts

    • Point out errors with care and diplomacy

    • Try not to point out your own credentials & expertise

    • If you think you’re right, don’t let them dominate the conversation

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    General Coping Strategies

    Give up the need to be right

    Find some truth in the complaint/problem and admit it

    Do not defend yourself

    Regain control by stopping the exchange

    Get help from co-worker, manager, etc.

    See the positive side in others…

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    See the Positive Side in Others

    Every personality has inherent strengths and weaknesses…

    Bully: Confident, perseverance, outgoing

    Gossip: Social, makes connections

    People-Pleaser: Always helps out, agreeable, nurturing

    Martyr: Voices inequities in employee treatment

    Complainer: ‘Devils Advocate’, spots mistakes

    Know-it-All: Accurate, thorough, has expertise

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    Is it possible that YOU are a ‘difficult person’ at times?

    • Does any difficult “type” sound familiar to YOU?

    • Ask your Manager directly for input and feedback.

    • Do you have room for improvement?

    • Which behaviours do you currently exhibit?

    • What is one behaviour that you resolve to STOP DOING?

    How Can YOU Improve?

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    In this seminar, you have learned…

    • What a ‘difficult person’ is

    • To identify different types of difficult people

    • To understand their motivations and needs

    • Tips on dealing with difficult people

    • To recognize areas of personal development

  • Questions