Dealing with Difficult People
Difficult People:

The Intimidator

The Procrastinator

The Slouch

The Windbag

The Politician

The Rooster

The Drama Queen

The Busy Body

The Score Keeper


We all encounter difficult people – sometimes it may be the very people that we live with or work with each day.  Sometimes we even look in the mirror and surprisingly see one.  We all know people that use intimidation, rudeness and bullying to get what they want.  We may even catch ourselves acting that way.  Some people never follow through or are never happy no matter what. 

What I have here are some examples of these difficult types and some methods and strategies for understanding and communicating with them.   The personalities that you meet in an office can often be toxic...  be prepared for anything!  Avoidance and coping are often the best tools to use in most circumstances when dealing with toxic personalities!

The INTIMIDATOR:  Stand your ground and smile. Stop all the negative thoughts in your head, then visualize yourself pushing the other person 100 feet away from you. Imagine him or her as being very small and in black and white. This will immediately reverse any feeling of inferiority. Once you've mentally laid the groundwork, you want to be the first person to say something so that the conversation is in your control. Don't say anything competitive or defensive; instead, ask something personal like 'How is your family?' Be sincere and it will probably throw off the other person's power-tripping ways. Eventually they just go away and realize that you can not be intimidated.

The PROCRASTINATOR:  These people are extremely frustrating they can slow up an entire team.  They are often their own worst enemy.  Their battle cry is: “… once I get a round to it.”   It just happened that a friend of mine gave my husband a boxed round wooden “tuit” with a note that said: “Congratulations now you are the proud owner of a “Round tuit!”  Something else always comes up.  Unfocused, confused, and disorganized, they need to set firm timelines and need to emphasize the importance of meeting timelines.  To eliminate most excuses tell them the consequences of the timelines aren’t met, but be prepared for them to create a new set of excuses.  Make sure you get a firm commitment.  The ability to make commitments and stick to them is a sure sign of maturity. Follow-up, follow-up.  

The SLOUCH:   Slouch on the couch!  But a real slouch is never cute.  We all at times can be lazy, but true loafers tend to also be manipulative and put more energy into avoiding work than doing the work.  Do not cover for slouches – do not make excuses for them.  Be sure everyone follows this lead – confront the problem head on!  Help with suggesting or requiring “to-do lists” and the completion of each task.   

The WINDBAG:  Ever want to spend your day listening to babble!  No one does!  Some people just go on and on and on!   So much more important to cut this guy off quickly and resume the task at hand.  No reason to be rude... unless is it is definitely needed,  just set up priorities and forge ahead toward the goal at hand.

The POLITICIAN:  These Schmoozer's do not believe in the "Promotions based on merit!"  They like to participate in office politics and play the political game.  If you find that your boss falls into this category find out what motivates him and adapt your behavior to where you can still achieve and focus on your job!  Avoid office politics on a lower level. 

The ROOSTER:  These people like to crow on and on about themselves.   Better to get to the point of business.  These "Fowl" people like to sit on the fence and not make a decision.  They hem and haw and don't get with the program.  Remove the fence...   keep the goal in view and watch them dance around like a chicken without a head.

The DRAMA QUEEN:  Oh the Sarah Bernhardt's of the world.  All the dram and crises - the biggest waste of anyone's day.  Set all deadlines early...  Stick to the goals and the tasks and DO NOT make their drama your drama!

The BUSY BODY:  These people love to share the bad news so everyone gets their fair share.   The news is always about someone else, never about themselves.  If you want you business to stay your business keep it to yourself. 

The SCORE KEEPER:  Never a tied score with this guy.  He keeps a record and expects repayment ASAP.   Best never to get caught in the trap with the Score Keeper.  You never win.  Avoidance is the best remedy.