Coping With Negative Behaviors in the Workplace

It takes all types to make the world go round, king77 and dealing with them all can be a challenging task, particularly when dealing with difficult people. This is one area where using your Personal Power of Influence can be most effective.

Not all difficult people were born that way. Some learned to be difficult because they discovered that this type of manipulation got them what they wanted, which was their own way. Others are overstressed or affected by personal experiences and circumstances that have overwhelmed them leaving them in a perpetual state of upset. Whatever the reason behind their difficult behavior, the end result for those around them is the same. It causes stress and entraps otherwise reasonable people into behaving in ways they ordinarily would not. puss888

Dealing with them often requires you to rise above the temptation of retaliating, and simply ignoring their behavior. We must realize that we can only be responsible for our own actions and behaviors, nobody else’s, however how we respond and the example we choose to set is in our hands. This is the Personal Power of Influence in action.

Here are a few difficult types you may encounter and tips for dealing with them:

The Yes Man/Woman

These people want everyone to like them so they never take sides and they appear indecisive and somewhat wishy-washy. Generally they are nice people, slot35 but they are so eager to please everyone this backfires in their face because they can’t say no. They find it difficult to accept criticism or blame and they are not good at solving problems or managing their workloads. They delay action hoping if they do nothing, their problem will just go away, and don’t ask them for honest feedback – it will be watered down to the point of being useless in their effort not to hurt anyone’s feelings. betflix789

How to deal with them – Influential leaders make it safe for people to comment without feeling judged or threatened and you need to let them know that feedback is not always expected to be “nice” and sometimes the most useful feedback can be quite critical, and that they’re ‘safe’ to share theirs and that you’d consider it valuable. A ‘pep’ talk can work wonders. Gentle encouragement and the knowledge they are not going to be judged harshly for speaking up or saying no when they have to will support them. zodiac888

The bomb

This explosive personality knows that tantrums work for them because it makes others passive and back down so they get their own way. When feeling stressed or threatened these hot-heads will speak loudly, shout, or just cut you down cold. They have no self control over their emotional outbursts and can explode over anything which also makes them unpredictable. lucia168

How to deal with them – While they are ranting, calmly look them in the eye and wait for the dust to settle. If you let them get it all off their chest they will become quiet after a while. When they do, speak in a soft voice. Tell them you do want to hear what they have to say, but not like this. As with the joker, try and get the bomb alone and when you do, stick to facts. If their problem is work related and you are able to help them in some way, offer your assistance, otherwise suggest ways they might seek support. Don’t get caught up in their drama, make it clear you’ll always be happy to listen and assist if they remain calm and behave appropriately, otherwise you will have no choice but to ignore them and their outbursts. 2xlslo

The bully

If they have the build, they will use their “physical presence” to intimidate others, although obviously not all bullies are either tall or brawny. Regardless of size, they base their opinions and decisions only on what they know now, believing their position to be the right one and possessing a strong need to be right. They become aggressive and intimidating to quieten others in order to win. These are the people who talk over you, interrupt you mid sentence, are pushy and can be just plain rude. They ridicule others and their ideas.

How to deal with them – Resist retaliating. Stay calm. When you reply, start with their name and look them straight in the eye. Use phrases like, ‘I disagree with you…’ ‘In my opinion…’ ‘My idea would be…’ Don’t do this in an aggressive manner, your aim is to reach agreement so you don’t want to antagonize them further. Stand your ground in a dignified manner and never let them think their behavior is working with you. Refuse to be their victim.

The joker or clown

These people are not as obvious as the bully but this doesn’t make them any less difficult to deal with. They don’t attack you outright to your face, but they do make snide comments or jokes about what you say and may be worse if they have an audience. They can also be negative and difficult to influence. Annoying at the best of times, jokers are noticeably disruptive in meetings. Unfortunately, they often see themselves as being funny.

How to deal with them – Stand up to jokers, but don’t get into a war of words with them. Get them alone, because without an audience, you stand a better chance of communicating sensibly with these “performers”. Use their name and say, ‘When you said… I thought you meant… Did you mean it that way?’ Your aim is to discover if they meant what they said. If they reply with, ‘ you can’t take a joke’ or ‘You’re too sensitive,’ let them know their little jibes and sarcastic asides are not jokes and ask if they mean it that way. As with bullies, don’t let jokers think you’re an easy target. If they persist, tell them the only way the will get your attention or support in future is by behaving more appropriately otherwise you will ignore them.

In a nutshell, whichever type you are dealing with, asking for their help to understand them will go a long way to calm heated situations and solve problems. Never resort to behaving like they do – you can persuade best by setting a good example to follow and if they choose not to be influenced by your example, at least you have not lowered yourself to their standards and you will be a positive inspiration for others.

 

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