Presentation on theme: "Alternatives to Lacking an Employee Assistance Program"— Presentation transcript:
1Alternatives to Lacking an Employee Assistance Program Lakewood Resource & Referral Center212 Second Street, Suite 204Lakewood, New Jersey 08701
2Topics to be Covered: Qualities of Difficult People Common Responses to Difficult People10 Common Difficult Personalities (and how to deal with them)How to Defuse an Angry PersonListening Skills with Difficult PeopleYour Difficult Person
3Qualities of difficult people Overreact to criticismAvoid others or hide informationBlame OthersExhibit loss of emotional controlBecome hostile for no apparent reasonAttack others physically or verballySeem apatheticAppear very anxiousManipulate othersShow wide or sudden shifts of mood for no obvious reasonAre overly controllingSeem rebelliousBecome argumentative
4Common Responses to Difficult People AngerFrustrationComplainingWalking on eggshellsBeing overly niceArguingEnduring abuse silently
510 Difficult Personalities Leading to Conflict in the Workplace (and How to Deal with Them) The Hostile/AggressiveThe PessimistThe ComplainerThe Know-it-All ExpertThe NarcissistThe ToadyThe SkepticShy and QuietThe OvercontrollerThe Indecisive Staller
6The Hostile/Aggressive THE SHERMAN TANK, THE EXPLODER, MEAN AND ANGRYHow to Deal with this Personality:Stand up to them without aggression. If you allow a fight to escalate you will never win and you may end up losing both the battle and the war.Be assertive and express your opinion respectfully (“In my opinion…and so I disagree with you”).Take a deep breath and calm yourself.Move the discussion to a neutral site.
7The Hostile/Aggressive If attacked, do not counter-attack. Such personalities feed on the anger of others – it empowers them.Instead ask them firmly to sit down and explain calmly what they have to say. Listen calmly in return.Give them time to wind down and run out of steam…avoid a direct confrontation.Take unpredictable actions to distract their attention: drop a book, stand up; firmly call them by name.Don’t be surprised by friendly overtures as soon as they view you as worthy of respect.
8The Pessimist How to Deal with this Personality: THE NEGATIVISTHow to Deal with this Personality:Recognize your own vulnerability to being sucked into feeling discouraged. Negativity can be contagious unless met directly with confident, assertive optimism.Don’t argue with them or embarrass them. You won’t get far by making this a win/lose battle.Allow them to play the role of “reality checker” by analyzing what could indeed go wrong. Validate the usefulness of their defensive pessimism.
9The PessimistRequire them to cite specifics rather than make sweeping generalizations.Offer examples of past successes. Highlight the value of exploring other alternatives.When alternatives are discussed, bring up the negatives yourself.Don’t try to talk them out of their pessimistic life perspective.Discuss the problem thoroughly without offering solutions.Be ready to take action alone without their agreement.
10The Complainer How to Deal with this Personality: Break the self-fulfilling cycle of passivity, blaming and powerlessness by using a problem solving approach.Ask for complaint in writing.Assign them fact-finding tasks.4. Listen attentively. They may just need to blow off steamBe prepared to interrupt and take control.Pin them down to specifics. Despite complaining they may be able to provide you with useful information.
11The Complainer7. Be careful when agreeing. You do not want to validate that everything is your fault and that they are blameless.8. If all else fails, ask them how they would like the discussion to end; what results do they want to achieve?9. Acknowledge their feelings but avoid complaining along with them; don’t get sucked into their dysfunctional pattern.10. State the facts clearly without apology…remain in problem-solving mode.
12The Know-it-All Expert THE BULLDOZERHow to Deal with this personality:1. Help them consider alternative views while avoiding direct challenges to their expertise.Do your homework, prepare well, discuss facts in an orderly manner, and make sure that your information is accurate and complete.Don’t ‘ball park’ it or they will dismiss you as incompetent.Don’t be intimidated, or let them take over the meeting.
13The Know-it-All Expert 5. Do listen to them and try to benefit from their knowledge.5. Listen actively and acknowledge. Paraphrase rather than interrupt; it shows that you respect their expertise.6. If you must point out an error or omission, do it by questioning firmly with confidence and asking for clarification (e.g., “how might that look 5 years from now?”)7. Resist the temptation to assert your own expert credential. It won’t work. No one knows more than they do in their opinion.
14BALLOONS - ALWAYS RIGHT The NarcissistBALLOONS - ALWAYS RIGHTHow to Deal with this Personality:1. Know how you feel about the person and how they affect you.Identify and recognize their talents – especially underutilized ones – and lead them to activities that test these talents.Avoid the temptation to burst their bubble – they are really rather fragile underneath the confident exterior.4. Encourage their participation in activities that require their dependence on others.5. Give them opportunities to teach and work with others.
15The Narcissist6. Have them role-play a timid or shy person to feel the other sides. Use similar techniques to encourage empathy.7. State correct facts or alternative opinions as descriptively as possible; avoid deflating their opinions.8. Provide them with a means to save face; don’t humiliate them.9. Be ready to fill the conversation gap yourself.10. Coping with them when they are alone (one-on-one) is easier.
16THE SUPER AGREEABLE ETERNAL OPTIMIST The ToadyTHE SUPER AGREEABLE ETERNAL OPTIMISTHow to Deal with this Personality:1. Treat them well and in a positive manner.2. Give them only the information you want them to know.3. Understand and appreciate their power and value.4. Insist that they support their positions with facts and figures – and do the same in turn.5. Ask them to disclose their dislikes.6. Invite them to disagree with you – make it safe for them to do so.
17The Toady7. Become a confidant, when possible. Be someone they feel they can trust.8. Be ready to negotiate and compromise if open conflict is likely.Ask them to tell you about things that might interfere with your good relationship.Listen closely to their humor as there may be hidden messages contained in it.
18THE BACKSTABBER, THE NAY SAYER The SkepticTHE BACKSTABBER, THE NAY SAYERHow to Deal with Them:1. Disentangle yourself from their web of suspicion.2. Never pass suspicion down.3. Watch yourself and monitor your reactions carefully.4. Open dialogue with others to relieve suspicion.5. Don’t believe anything they say about you in person or behind your back.
19The Skeptic 6. Document everything. 7. Be open, honest, and professional – and therefore guiltless.Don’t allow yourself to be intimidated or targeted.And remember that the truth, like sunshine, always comes out!
20The Shy and Quiet How to Deal with this Personality: THE CLAMSHow to Deal with this Personality:1. Put yourself in their shoes. Do not mistake shyness for aloofness.2. Use one-to-one and small-group environments to draw them out of their shells.3. Encourage them to join work-committees and organizations.4. Develop trust and friendship with this person whenever possible.5. Help them prepare for tough situations.6. Ask open-ended questions.
21The Shy and Quiet 7. Wait as calmly as possible for a response. 8. Don’t rush to fill in silence with your conversation.9. Plan enough time to allow you to wait with composure.10. When they open up, be attentive and watch your own impulse to gush.11. Flow with tangents, they may lead to something enlightening.12. Leave them with food for thought and establish another meeting.
22THE WATCHDOG, THE DRAGON The OvercontrollerTHE WATCHDOG, THE DRAGONHow to Deal with this Personality:1. Free yourself mentally from being suffocated.2. Know what is happening to you and develop skills to deal with it.3. Provide a lot of feedback.4. Know your own strengths and limitations.5. Be properly and respectfully assertive in all interactions.
23The Overcontroller 6. Be as proactive as possible (out-think them). 7. Write things down in front of them.Don’t argue without supporting evidence.Don’t let them entice you into unprofessional behavior.Avoid the temptation to micro-manage them when you get the chance – such passive-aggressive retaliation serves no healthy purpose.
24The Indecisive Staller How to Deal with this Personality:1. Make it easy for them to tell you about conflicts or reservations.2. Listen for indirect words, hesitations, or omissions that might provide clues.3. Help them make a decision by examining the facts.4. Find out if the problem is you and reassure them it is not.5. Emphasize the importance of quality work.
25The Indecisive Staller 6. Give support after they make a decision.7. If possible, keep the action steps in your hands.Watch for signs of abrupt anger or withdrawal. Try to remove them from this situation.Maintain some control of important tasks.
26How to Defuse an Angry Person: Count to 10React to the issue, not the person.Talk, don’t shout.Use privacy.Listen first, listen completely.Think and take your time.Offer a solution.Use the correct body language.Don’t become angry by proxy.Don’t personalize it.When it’s over, let it go.Move on.
27Listening Skills for Dealing with Difficult People Purposes of Active ListeningTo communicate to the speaker that you value him/her as a person.To gain an understanding of the speaker’s experience.To communicate that understanding to the speaker so that they feel heard and understood.This can increase a person’s comfort, interest, and motivation.
28Listening Skills for Dealing with Difficult People Attending Behaviors IncludeEye ContactPostureGestures
29Listening Skills for Dealing with Difficult People Set Yourself Up for SuccessSquarely face the personOpen your postureLean toward the senderMaintain eye contactRelax while attending.
30Listening Skills for Dealing with Difficult People Active Listening Techniques1. Encouraging2. Re-stating3. Reflecting4. Summarizing
31Listening Skills for Dealing with Difficult People Active Listening:Active listening, as the name suggests, is an active process. As you listen to the person speak and watch their facial expressions and body language, you’re actively asking yourself the following three questions:1. What is or was this person feeling?2. What exactly did this person experience?3. What did this person do?
32Listening Skills for Dealing with Difficult People Periodically, you’re asking yourself a fourth question that integrates these:What is it like to be in his/her shoes?What’s the essence, the core message, of what’s happening to this person?
33Listening Skills for Dealing with Difficult People Inaccurate Reflection or Distracting Comments:1. Changing the topic responses.2. “I know better than you” response3. Judgmental responses.4. Advising response.5. Discounting and premature reassurance.6. Psychoanalysis7. Questions8. Telling your own story
34Learning More About Solutions for Working with Difficult People These three books may be useful for additional suggestions and solutions for working with difficult people.Sandra A. Crowe (1999). Since Strangling Isn't an Option: Dealing With Difficult People-Common Problems and Uncommon Solutions (1999). Berkley Publishing Group.Robert a Cava (2004). Dealing with Difficult People. Firefly Publications.Goleman, Daniel; Boyatzis, Richard; & McKee, Annie (2002). Primal Leadership: Recognizing the Power of Emotional Intelligence. Harvard Business School Publishing.