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How to Deal With 7 Challenging Workplace Personality Types

Dealing With Challenging Personality Types At Work - TBM Payroll

This article comes from Entrepreneur.

How to Deal With 7 Challenging Workplace Personality Types

Working with challenging employees is one of the most difficult and frustrating aspects of any manager’s job. The toll can be stressful for the manager and the employee alike.

The most common types.

Odds are you’ve worked with someone who fits into the “challenging” category. Read on to see if you recognize any of the most common types of difficult team members.

1. Professional experts.

They genuinely believe they are the smartest person in the room — always — and know more than everyone else. About everything.

2. Negative nixers.

You can count on them to shoot down everyone’s ideas and identify why a proposed solution won’t work.

3. Ultra competitors.

They’ll go head-to-head with anyone for any reason, and they won’t stop until they win. As a result, they’re often also the office bullies.

4. Chronic Complainers.

They never have a good word to say about anything. They strive for everyone to feel their pain and show their depressing mindset.

5. Yes-men and -women.

These coworkers agree with nearly everything – yet follow through on almost nothing.

6. Political players.

They’re friendly to your face. Then they stab you in the back to get ahead while you’re still reeling from the attack.

7. Drama queens and kings.

Highly dramatic and over-reactionary, they use their emotions as a tool to manipulate you.

The roadmap.

Fight the urge to press the “close” button on the elevator door when you see them approaching. Instead, stay attuned to recognize the changes these team members elicit in yourself and others.

You’ll need to understand that a one-size-fits-all solution doesn’t exist. However, you can use the roadmap below to guide an intentional conversation about nearly any issue.

Choose a quiet, private place, take a deep breath and try to remain as supportive as possible.

  • Use “I” language. Begin with “I’ve noticed ____” and name the behavior. Never lead with “You ____,” which adopts an accusatory tone.
  • State in clear, cause-and-effect terms why the behavior is harmful to the team and/or the organization.
  • Calmly lay out the change that needs to occur. Describe the anticipated benefit for the employee (what’s in it for him or her) and for the team. Also, establish what will happen if the behavior does not change. You are not issuing a threat. You are cluing the employee in on expectations and natural consequences.

It’s possible you might reach a point of no return when continually putting out fires is taking too much energy away from other duties. If you deal with the same person time and again but don’t see progress, you have good reason to make a different kind of change. This cycle speaks to good-faith plans and broken trust.

And once you can’t trust someone, it’s virtually impossible to repair the damage and work together. It’s rarely an easy call. But you might be giving the person the freedom she or he needs to find a proper fit somewhere else.

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