Dealing with Difficult Problem People by TPenney


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									  Dealing with Difficult Problem People
       The Red and Blue Approach

Erratic behavior is a powerful weapon because it defies accurate
   Often, the behavior comes as a surprise even to the person
                          generating it.
        Seemingly out of the blue
• Some people go to extraordinary lengths to be
  difficult. Think of the diva actress whose on-set
  needs can never be met or the boss who keeps
  moving the goal posts. The difficult person
  elevates the deliberate provocation to an art form.
  The underlying message is often, "Unless you
  agree with me and go along, you'll regret it."
• One clue that a person is attempting to
  intimidate or manipulate you is the use of
  unpredictable, or protean, behavior—acts that
  are random and seemingly out of the blue.
              Hurting Ourselves

Why yes we are in work environment but we to
have our limits
• I know it’s not easy, if it was easy, there wouldn’t
  be difficult or negative people to begin with.
Why Bother Controlling Our Responses?
• One of my favorite sayings is “Holding a grudge
  against someone is like drinking poison and
  expecting the other person to die.” The only
  person we hurt is ourselves.
        Charge! Warrior or Wimp
        Or Knight and Peacekeeper
• We usually regret having charged into battle—or at
  least we wonder what we were thinking. And that's
  just it: We weren't thinking. An emotional reaction
  bypasses thoughtful deliberation. No rational person
  today would engage in an argument with a random
  person on the street. But if someone bumps into us,
  blocks our way or otherwise wants to hassle us, our
  immediate inclination is to freeze, fight or flee.
  Similarly, our immediate response to the verbal slights
  or manipulative barbs of a difficult person is often to
  fight back. Your immediate reaction is, "I can't stand
  this crazy, insulting behavior."
The Statement holds Strength
                You – Them - Us
It’s Not About You, It’s About Them
• I’ve learned that when people initiate
   negativity, it is a reflection of their
   inner state expressed externally and
   you just happen to be in front of that
   expression. It’s not personal, so why do
   we take it personally? In short: Because
   our ego likes problems and conflict.
      Ego, the Id and the Super Id
Battle of the Ego
• When we respond
  impulsively, it is a natural
  and honest response.
  However, is it the smart
  thing to do? What can be
  resolved by doing so? The
  answer: Nothing. It does
  however feed our ego’s
  need for conflict.
           Go sock your head
Anger Feeds Anger. Negativity Feeds Negativity.
• Rarely can any good come out of reacting
  against someone who is in a negative state. It
  will only trigger anger and an additional
  reactive response from that person. If we do
  respond impulsively, we’ll have invested
  energy in the defending of ourselves and we’ll
  feel more psychologically compelled to defend
  ourselves going forward.
Five minutes in life I will not get back!
Waste of Energy
• Where attention goes,
  energy flows. What
  we focus on tends to
  expand itself. Since
  we can only focus on
  one thing at a time,
  energy spent on
  negativity is energy
  that could have been
  spent on our
  personal wellbeing.
        He said She said WHAT!
Negativity Spreads
• I’ve found that once I allow negativity in one area
  of my life, it starts to subtly bleed into other
  areas as well. When we are in a negative state or
  holding a grudge against someone, we don’t feel
  very good. We carry that energy with us as we go
  about our day. When we don’t feel very good, we
  lose sight of clarity and may react unconsciously
  to matters in other areas of our lives,
          I have the RIGHT, so!
Freedom of Speech
• People are as entitled to their opinions as you are.
  Allow them to express how they feel and let it be.
  Remember that it’s all relative and a matter of
  perspective. What we consider positive can be
  perceived by another as negative. When we react,
  it becomes me-versus-you, who is right?
• They have the right to express their own opinions
  and we have the right and will power to choose
  our responses. We can choose peace or we can
  choose conflict.
       No Headache No Problem
Accept the situation. Impossible people exist;
there isn't a thing you can do about it. The first
step is all about facing reality: if you think you
might be dealing with an impossible person,
you're probably right. When in doubt, proceed
as instructed below. The headaches you save
will be your own
Remember to "detach, disassociate
          and diffuse
– Detach: Staying calm in the heat of the moment is paramount
  to your personal preservation. Spitting angry words, reacting
  with extreme emotions such as crying, will only stimulate them
  to do more of the difficult behavior.
– Disassociate: Remove yourself from the situation and treat it
  with indifference. Do not, under any circumstances bad talk to
  their face or to anyone else because then you are sinking down
  to their level. Add something positive by redirection such as by
  focusing on something, anything, positive in the situation or in
  the conversation. Whatever you do just stay calm!
– Diffuse: It can help to realize that the side of a conversation
  that contains the most truth will always win out, and it's best to
  "name the game" that an impossible person is playing, usually
  by asking them or the group a question that starts "Why...,"
  (rephrasing their "impossible" position to illuminate the
        But thoughts do cross your mind

Guard against anger. If it helps, consider the fact that your anger is actually a precious gift to
the impossible person. Anything you do or say while angry will be used against you over and
over again. Impossible people tend to have amazing memories, and they will not hesitate to
use a nearly endless laundry list of complaints from the past against you.
 Be the Manager not the Managed
Be a manager. Until it is over, your task in the
relationship is to manage the impossible person, so that
he or she deals less damage to you.
   – As a manager, your best resources are silence (it really is
     golden in some cases such as this), humoring the other,
     and abandoning all hope of "fixing" the impossible person.
     Impossible people do not listen to reason. They can't (and
     even if they could, they wouldn't).
   – Recognize that you can't convince them that they have any
     responsibility for the problems between you. They don't
     recognize (or if they did, wouldn't try to improve) their
     flaws for a very logical reason; they don't have any flaws.
   Oil and Water or Gas and Matches
• Consider that it might be a
  question of compatibility.
  Sometimes, a person who gets
  along with everybody else quite
  well is an impossible person for
  you personally. Most
  relationships between people
  contain many shades of gray,
  but some people simply mix as
  well as oil and water.
Allow others to save Face

Staying Rational When Confronting the Difficult Person
            Protect your self-esteem.
• If you have regular dealings
  with someone who tries to
  portray you as the source of all
  evil, you need to take active
  steps to maintain a positive
   – Remind yourself that this
     person's opinion is not
     necessarily the truth.
     Understand that oftentimes,
     impossible people are
     particularly "fact-challenged."
               Not a necessity
• We too quickly jump to our own defense when we feel
  insulted. We do so because we have evolved a hyper
  vigilant concern for our standing among peers. This
  focus on status makes sense as a play for dominance
  and power, qualities that translate into real mating
  options. The need to retain status is an example of
  Neanderthink. This knee-jerk demand for status can
  push us to get outraged and to lose focus on larger
  goals, such as keeping your job or your mate. We want
  to prove that we are correct—but doing it angrily and
  intolerantly can hinder your major objectives.
  Dominance at every turn is good, but not a necessity.
                  The Power of Nine
                  They call me Bruce
Here's 9 tips which I've found to work in dealing with
such people:
Be calm.
Understand the person's intentions.
Get some perspective from others.
Let the person know where you are coming from.
Build a rapport.
Treat the person with respect.
Focus on what can be actioned upon.
Escalate to a higher authority for resolution.
    Self Safety Not Self Protection
• Involve other people carefully. If you have failed to
  settle a dispute with another person, then (and only
  then) consider bringing in other people to help with a
  resolution. Just be certain that the difficult person
  knows you will be bringing in someone else for help.
• If all else fails, minimize interactions. Sometimes, no
  matter what you do, you will not be able to improve
  your relationship with a colleague, boss, or customer.
  In that case, either eliminate all interaction with the
  person (that’s probably not possible if the difficult
  person is your boss!) or minimize the time spent with
  him/her as much as possible. Your #1 responsibility is
  to keep yourself happy.
Don’t become the Problem Case
   No Truer Statement was Made
• Ask Albert! Think about the statement and the
  solution! Not the conclusion.

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