DEALING WITH DIFFICULT PEOPLE UNDERSTANDING YOUR NEMESIS • • • • • • • THE HOSTILE-AGGRESSIVE THE COMPLAINER THE SILENT MARTYR SUPER-NICE THE MEGA- NEGATIVE THE KNOW IT ALL THE INDECISIVE 5 CHALLENGES • • • • • DON‘T REACT: Control Your Own Behavior DISARM YOUR ―OPPONENT‖ CHANGE THE GAME MAKE IT EASY TO BE AGREEABLE MAKE IT HARD TO BE DISAGREEABLE OUR NATURAL REACTIONS 1. STRIKE BACK 2. GIVE IN 3. WALK AWAY- FOREVER STEP 1: STEP BACK • IDENTIFY YOUR INTERESTS (Needs, Desires, Concerns & Fears) • IDENTIFY YOUR BEST ALTERNATIVES • DECIDE WHETHER TO NEGOTIATE • STAY FOCUSED ON YOUR GOAL • NAME THE GAME/ KNOW THE TACTICS • KNOW YOUR ―BUTTONS‖ • BUY TIME TO THINK • REWIND THE TAPE • DISTANCE YOURSELF STEP 2: DISARM THE OPPONENT • DO THE UNEXPECTED • ACTIVELY LISTEN • ACKNOWLEDGE HIS/HER POINT, FEELINGS • BE CONFIDENT • BE ON THE SAME ―WAVELENGTH‖ • OFFER AN APOLOGY • EXPRESS YOUR VIEWS without PROVOCATION STEP 3: CHANGE THE GAME • • • • • • • • CHANGE THE PROCESS TO PROBLEM SOLVING ASK PROBLEM-SOLVING QUESTIONS (why, why not, what if) ASK FOR THEIR ADVICE ASK ―WHAT MAKES THAT FAIR?‖ USE OPEN-ENDED QUESTIONS (how, why, why not, what, who) USE THE POWER OF SILENCE REFRAME TACTICS/DEFLECT ATTACKS CHANGE THE NEGOTIATION TO THE RULES STEP 4: MAKE IT EASY TO BE AGREEABLE • FOUR OBSTACLES TO AGREEMENT: – – – – NOT THEIR IDEA UNMET INTERESTS FEAR OF LOSING FACE TOO MUCH TOO FAST BUILDING AGREEMENT – Start from where your opponent is – Make it easy to overcome the obstacles: – Involve them in solution so it becomes their idea – Satisfy his/her unmet interests – Help them save face – Make negotiation easy INVOLVE THE OTHER IN THE SOLUTION • BOTH PARTICIPATE & CREATE AN AGREEMENT TOGETHER • GET THEIR IDEAS & BUILD ON THEM • ASK FOR CONSTRUCTIVE CRITICISM • OFFER A CHOICE • SATISFY UNMET INTERESTS • SAVE FACE • USE A STEP-BY-STEP APPROACH STEP 5: MAKE IT HARD TO DISAGREE ―BRING THEM TO THEIR SENSES, NOT THEIR KNEES‖ COSTS VS BENEFITS • ASK QUESTIONS DESIGNED TO MAKE THEM THINK (reality-testing questions) • WARN, DON‘T THREATEN • REVEAL YOUR ALTERNATIVE • USE MINIMUM POWER & KEEP IT LEGIT •The Secret to Success with Difficult (and not so difficult) People. You will walk away with a powerful, easy-to-apply method for dealing successfully with difficult and not so difficult people. • Essential material only • Ask questions • Invitation to explore further • Why? • What? • How? – Us – Why deal with difficult people? – What approach do you take? • Who? – Behavioral Styles • When? – Now why Think about your current job and career thus far. • What limits or obstacles to further success? Anything missing? • Have you ever been mismanaged? • Have you ever…? • Some technical obstacles • Many ―people‖ obstacles – Bosses, Employees, Peers, Politics • What counts most in your work life? What approach • Apply this process… 1.Understand self 2.Understand others 3.Flex for success • Examples: – Sales people sell more – Yours truly… Behavior Styles • Behavioral style: age-old area of study • Best today: DISC D – Dominance I – Influence S – Steadiness C – Compliance • We have all four – The language of people watching. – They are ―continua:‖ low to high – One is normally our ―core‖ style D is for Dominance • How you deal with Problems and Challenges High D: Ambitious, Forceful, Decisive, Direct, Independent, Challenging Famous ―D‖s? Influence • How you deal with People and Contacts High I: Expressive, Enthusiastic, Friendly, Demonstrative, Talkative, Stimulating Famous ―I‖s? Steadiness • How do you deal with Pace and Consistency High S: Methodical, Systematic, Reliable, Steady, Relaxed, Modest Famous ―S‖s? Compliance • How you deal with Procedures and Constraints High C: Analytical, Contemplative, Conservative, Exacting, Careful, Deliberate Famous ―C‖s? Who or which are you • Did you know your core style immediately? • Do you seem to have qualities of more than one style? Adapted • Natural style: relaxed, at home, or very stressed • Adapted style: how we believe we can best survive/thrive in any given environment. We humans are great adapters. Styles Extroverted Task/Thinking Introverted Feeling/Relations Where are we Exercise • Get together with 1 or 2 others • Read each description • Choose the described person‘s ―core‖ and, if seen, secondary styles. Case #1 Known for his loyalty to friends and as a team player. Hard worker and a thorough researcher. Puts a premium on friendship, sometimes to a fault. A man at peace with himself. Relates easily and warmly in small groups but freezes in public forums. Is a worrier. Top achiever who is cool under pressure. Family is sacred. Shortcoming may be his inability to act quickly to unexpected turns of events. Case File #2 This person is motivated to be amiable, easy-going, and relaxed. Is a natural team player, and enthusiastic. Likes to get results though others. May make some decisions without gathering all the facts necessary. Usually very optimistic, may be seen as unrealistic. Dislikes conflict. Comfortable talking with all types of people; may tend to judge others by their verbal skills. Shortcoming may be a lack of time control and his natural tendency to trust others may cause him to trust the wrong people. #3 Highly competitive and somewhat egotistical, is always looking for a new challenge. High energy level may keep many coworkers frustrated trying to keep up. Truly visionary in her thinking, always looking at the big picture. Well informed on many subjects, can talk spontaneously on almost anything and has an opinion on everything. Has a very private side to her personality few people see and, therefore, requires a place where she can be alone to think periodically. Shortcoming may be her inability to sustain energy for project completion after the challenge has been conquered. 4 Likes to do things ―her way.‖ Needs structure and control. Doesn‘t like surprises; therefore may develop elaborate plans to prevent them. May be seen as cool and aloof by others because of her private nature. Can be overly critical of herself and others. May have difficulty developing a sense of team cohesiveness. Is pragmatic but may resist change unless given reasons. Under pressure may become overly autocratic. Can be very intuitive but may not know how to express feelings. May become possessive of people she lets inside her ―wall.‖ #5 Very empathetic and patient. A good listener. Needs private time and is well-disciplined. Tremendously objective and unemotional. May not display a sense of urgency that others may feel is necessary to win. Can be rigid and may resist change, but very spontaneous and friendly in familiar social environments. Prefers not to ―rock the boat‖ and may conceal grievances to maintain harmony in the work team. Adds stability to any work group. Is consistent, dependable, and remains calm under pressure. Now What? • Flex for success • Avoid pitfalls flexable ―We see the world not as it is, but as we are.‖ -S. Covey Flexing creates a ―space‖ to see more and allow relationships to beyond their prototypical ruts. Flexing • Flexing is adapting, consciously. • Stimulus -> Response becomes Stimulus -> Choice -> Response • You change the ―situation.‖ Result “When I flex to meet the style of the other, I open a new door to communication and cooperation.” (repeat daily) Another way to say it • ―When I notice a lack of communication or cooperation, that‘s my signal to flex.‖ Obstacles • ―I am what I am.‖ • ―It‘s too hard.‖ • ―Why should I change? I‘m not gonna change. You change.‖ How to Flex • Recognize their style • Match their – – – – Tone of voice & volume, Pace, Body language, Etc. • Anticipate and align with their needs • Exercise on core style: D, I, Separate into groups based • • • • S, C. Write a list of ―Do‘s‖ and ―Don‘ts‖ for communicating with your style. Write a list of what you appreciate about each of the other styles Write a list of what you want from each of the other styles. Pick a spokesperson Pitfalls • Please: – Remember style is observable behavior • Nothing about motive or personality. – Create win-win • Everyone can be successful regardless of style – Flex and avoid pigeonholing • Avoid ―Oh, you‘re that way because you‘re a D (or I, S, C)‖ disc • Each style is valuable – – – – D – Get it done I – New ideas & energy S – Objectivity & cohesion C – Thoroughness & the ―right‖ way • Team composition • Team life-cycle – Forming, Storming, Norming, Performing Other use for DISC ing • • • • • Teams Sales Career planning Community groups Spouses & family It allows People to! • DISC helps you deal with difficult people by – – – – Understanding your style Understanding others‘ styles Flexing to open communication Anticipating needs Working with Difficult People • Why people are difficult • Types of difficult behavior • Coping skills and techniques to help you communicate • People feel – – – – Why are people crappy Rushed — not enough time Insecure Angry And have some need or interest •Stressed!!! • TYPES of “PEOPLE” INTENT: – To get things done – To get things right NEED: – Control – Perfection TASK FOCUSED: Difficult Numbers • Corporate attitudes push to higher productivity create conflict. • Many corporate messages state that conflict is good. Conflict ―Conflict is the gadfly of thought. It stirs us to observation and memory. It instigates to invention. It shocks us out of sheeplike passivity, and sets us at noting and contriving…. Conflict is the sine qua non of reflection and ingenuity.‖ - John Dewey American educator and philosopher Good and Bad ―Clearly, conflict is vital for today‘s ‗lean and mean‘ times. It can be the imaginative and interactive energy source firing Purpose, Passion and the sharing of Power—three ‗P‘s for productivity.‖ - Mark Gorkin Results and Pay Increase • Win/Lose attitude ―Winning isn‘t everything; it‘s the only thing.‖ - Vince Lombardi • Who is the loser? • How do we treat the loser? • How do we talk about the loser? • What happens when we interact with the loser? • 4 ELEMENTS FOR EFFECTIVELY 1. Know Specifically What You Want 2. Make the Commitment 3. Pay Close Attention 4. Be Flexible DEALING WITH DIFFICULT PEOPLE They can be • • • • • • Hostile-Aggressive Know-It-All Yes-Person Whiner Never-Say-A-Word Indecisive Staller The Bulldozers Types • Bullies their way toward the results they want. • Belittles you in front of anyone. • Tries to convince you that you are doing a poor job when you are doing great. • BULLDOZER 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. Stand your ground Interrupt Backtrack slightly Aim at a “Bottom Line” Peace with Honor Breathe! Dealing with a Bulldozer • If possible, get them to sit down. • Don‘t back down. Let them vent. Don‘t take it personally. Step away from the emotion. • Identify their issue–the facts of the matter. • Explain benefits of your point of view. Express your side in factual terms. • Allow aggressor to ―save face.‖ •He who throws mud loses ground. • The Sniper 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. snipers Stop, Look, & Backtrack Ask the “Relevancy” question Seek group opinion Now we need “Tank” strategy? If he/she will talk -- LISTEN! Suggest a “Civil Future” Mr. President I believe • Diplomacy is the art of letting someone else get your way. Been There got the Video Person • Control people and events by dominating conversation with lengthy, imperious arguments. • Tries to find flaws in everything. • KNOW-IT-ALL: (The Expert) 1. Know your stuff 2. Backtrack with respect 3. Question firmly 4. Present options politely 5. Use plural pronouns 6.Acknowledge his/her competence Know it all all the time • Know your facts. Be prepared. • Listen carefully and paraphrase the main points. • Use questions to raise issues. • If necessary, subordinate yourself to avoid static and commit yourself to building a more equal relationship in the future. Yes person Yes Dear Yes of Course I‘ll do that • Answers ―Yes‖ to every request without thinking about what is being promised . • Has deep-seated anxiety and a lot of resentment. • Seeks approval and avoids disapproval. • And even if all the promises can be kept, the Yes-Person no longer has a life! Deal or no deal Work to get to the underlying issues. Tell how much you value them as people. Give them permission to say ―No.‖ Ask them to tell about any aspect of your product that is not as good as the best. • Listen to their humor -- hidden messages? • • • • Wine with that Whinner • • • • Avoids taking responsibility. Wants sympathy. Has negative view of the world. It‘s important for these people to get their opinions across. If you ignore them, they increase their protests. • If you must cry over spilled milk, then please try to condense it! Cheese for the Whinner • Don‘t respond if they are blaming you. Don‘t sympathize if they are at fault. • Make a list of all complaints from constant complainers before you discuss problem. • Make sure the facts are correct. • Make the Whiner propose solutions on they can fix the problem. • The Complainer: 1. Listen 2. Prepare to interrupt - Don’t Agree 3. Acknowledge the complaint 4. Get specifics 5. Use limiting responses 6. Move to problem solving Schultz • Timid, uncomfortable, and uncertain. • Wants to avoid conflict or hurting anyone. • Often feels angry because ―the wrong decision‖ was made. • Some can‘t relate authentically or speak honestly. Dealing with Schultz • Try to draw them out about topics that are non-threatening. • Ask open-ended questions. • Wait for a response -- calmly. (Don‘t fill the silence with your chatter.) • If you get no response, comment on what‘s happening. End your comment with an open-ended question. Lead in the Pants • Could be an overwhelmed ―YesPerson.‖ • Could be a procrastinator. • Has reservations about the project. • Doesn‘t organize or prioritize work. • INDECISIVE: 1. Help them voice concerns (take cues from “what’s not said / indirectness” 2. Provide face-to-face support when possible 3. Reduce alternatives 4. Keep the action step 5. Watch behavior - “don’t push too far” Dealing with Staler • Help document their goals and deadlines • Listen for indirect words, hesitations. • Ask them how you can help them achieve their goals. • Follow up on intermediate deadlines. Hold them to the deadlines. • Make it easy for them to tell you what is preventing their action. Attitude is Everything • You are not going to change THEM. • You will have to work with THEM. • You are the one who can make the change. • Make it happen! • Difficult Person Coping Plan: 1. Assess the “Situation” 2. Stop wishing they were “different”! 3. Get distance between you and the difficult behavior 4. Formulate a plan for interrupting the interaction 5. Implement strategy 6. Monitor coping process 7. Modify or abandon plan, if necessary Human Behaviors • All people are motivated . • You cannot motivate others ; you can provide the environment, skills, etc. • People do things for their reasons, not ours. • We are all different... Relationships should complement and complete each other. Which part of the circle • Visual Stimulus • 55% Meaning of Words 7% 38% Way Words are Said • CARING COMMUNICATION: • • • • • • • • Acknowledging Appreciating Assuring Passive Listening Pacing Reflecting Paraphrasing A positive close Speed up and Listen • Speaker says 120 wpm– Listener can absorb 800 wpm. • Our eyes see the equivalent of 50 million words per minute – 10,000,000 times more than we hear. • Humans use some 250,000 facial signals and 700,000 physical signals when communicating with one another. Communicate Talk • Be clear about what is to be done. • Be clear about who is to do it. • Two parts to the message – Speaker has an image – Listener has an image – Are they the same? • WATCH OUT FOR: • • • • • • • Put Downs Impatience Sarcasm & Complaining Jargon Explaining Too Much Ignoring Customer’s Comments Avoiding Responsibility or Blaming Others Speak to be heard • People always pay attention when you speak. • When someone says ―I know,‖ they really do know it. • Speaking loudly assures understanding. Coping • Don‘t take their behavior or words personally. • Write down details of what annoys you. • Think about why it annoys you. • Which of your buttons does this person push? Why do you respond to them in the way you do? Talk Talk Talk • How would you like to respond? List the advantages of different responses. • Monitor yourself. • Give yourself positive feedback when you succeed in not getting caught up in the emotions of difficult people. • Be a happier person by handling all those you encounter with charm and grace. Hello Neighbour • Get to know the people you need to influence. • Small talk can be better than no talk at all. • Join forces in a common cause. • Don‘t be afraid to ask for input or assistance. • Give more of your share of the credit and take more than your share of the blame. Smile Keep‘em Guessing • Give support where needed. • Be an information broker. • Learn to keep it light. • Don‘t forget to smile. Managing Difficult People Agenda • • • • • • • Introduction Project Life Cycle Project Metrics Success Factors Difficult People Soft Skills Project Processes Project Life Cycle • • • • Concept Planning Execution Closure Metrics for Project Success • • • • • • Deliverables Dollars Dates Decisions & Deviations Deployment Documentation Success Factors • • • • • • • • • Prioritization Ownership Clarity Commitment Capability Control Communications Roles & Responsibilities Escalation Difficult People • Roles - Stakeholders, Team members, Vendors, Users • Levels - Senior Managers, Developers, Admin, Peers • Degrees of Difficulty Dealing with Difficult People - Soft Skills • • • • • • • • Don‘t make it personal Don‘t take it personally Don‘t try to ‗fix‘ the person Don‘t assign blame Refrain from ‗he said she said‘ Listen Manage ‗people’ Manage yourself Dealing with Difficult People - Soft Skills cont‘d • • • • • • Create ad hoc informal Teams Timeliness Tact Thoroughness Target your audience Don‘t make assumptions Dealing with Difficult People - Using Project Processes • • • • • • Communications Commitment Document Use the Power of Metrics Use Power of Processes Use Power of Project Control Racism is taught long before you can beak-off!