CommunicationProject Management

A Survival Guide for Managing Difficult People

In a perfect world, everyone would do their work exceptionally well and get along with everyone on the team. Unfortunately, reality proves harsher, and people are often difficult to handle. In an article for Fast Company, Gwen Moran tackles how to best manage challenging people.

Identifying the Beasts

There will always be troublesome people in the office, whether because they are too sarcastic or gossip too frequently. The good news is that leaders are in a position to deal with such people in an effective manner. The first thing to do is try to uncover why this person is acting out, especially if their actions will damage the organization. Ask questions and observe their behavior to gain some perspective on a problem that may be able to be resolved or at least helped.

There are many different types of people and a personality test can help gain insight on diverse employees. Sometimes, people struggle to communicate their preferences, for example in regards to how they wish to communicate, but a personality test can help illustrate that for them. When people are understood, it is easier to handle them.  Simply acknowledging people’s differences can go a long way toward reconciling them.

Hearing the Beasts

Sometimes, people just want to be heard, so listen. Lashing out may simply be rooted in the fact that an employee feels as though they are not being respected as they should be. When sitting down with people, be open to the critiques they may present. They are probably not trying to be harsh, but rather they have grievances they think could be amended.

Part of a manager’s job is the ability to deliver negative feedback effectively. A manager must learn how to do this in a way that amends the problem, while not being rude. A manager must also understand that no one is irreplaceable. If an employee is simply causing too much trouble and nothing can be done, then maybe they need to be let go, especially if the rotten apple is infecting others.

You can read the original article here:

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