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Dealing with Difficult People . Joanne Ward Learning and Performance Improvement. Dealing with Difficult People. Questions: Do you know any difficult people? More than one? Is the person sitting beside you a difficult person? Are you a difficult person?. Dealing with Difficult People.

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dealing with difficult people

Dealing with Difficult People

Joanne Ward

Learning and Performance Improvement

dealing with difficult people2
Dealing with Difficult People

Questions:

  • Do you know any difficult people?
  • More than one?
  • Is the person sitting beside you a difficult person?
  • Are you a difficult person?
dealing with difficult people3
Dealing with Difficult People

Insights and Tools:

  • Understanding Conflict
  • 5 Characteristics of Difficult People
  • 4 Pitfalls to Avoid in Dealing with Difficult People Video
  • 5 Steps to Stop Difficult Behavior
understanding conflict

Barrier to Synergy - Conflict

Understanding Conflict

Definition: A difference in opinion or purpose that frustrates someone's goals or desires.

4 Primary Causes of Conflict:

  • Misunderstandings resulting from poor communication
  • Differences in values, goals, gifts, calling, priorities, expectations, interests, or opinions
  • Competition over limited resources (perceived or real)
  • Aggravated attitudes and habits that lead to hurtful words and actions

Reality: All relationships bring disorder and

unpredictability.

Source: The Peace Maker, Ken Sande, 2004

different conflict mindsets

Conflict Mindsets

Different Conflict Mindsets:
  • Conflict is a hazard that threatens to sweep me off my feet and leave me bruised and hurting.
  • Conflict is an obstacle that should be conquered quickly and firmly.
  • Conflict is an opportunity to solve common problems in a way that benefits all those involved.

Source: The Peace Maker, Ken Sande, 2004

your mindset determines your response

Responses to Conflict

Your Mindset Determines Your Response:

1. Conflict is a hazard

Response = Escape – more interest in avoiding the conflict than in resolving it. All conflict is wrong or dangerous and threatening.

2. Conflict is an obstacle

Response = Attack – more interest in winning a conflict than in preserving a relationship. Conflict is a contest or a chance to assert rights, control others, or take advantage of the situation.

Source: The Peace Maker, Ken Sande, 2004

your mindset determines your response7

Responses to Conflict

Your Mindset Determines Your Response:

3. Conflict is an opportunity

Response = Reconcile/Resolve– directed toward finding just and mutually agreeable solutions to conflict.

Focus is on "us" – working toward mutual responsibility in solving the problem.

Source: The Peace Maker, Ken Sande, 2004

dealing with difficult people8
Dealing with Difficult People

5 Characteristics of Difficult People:

# 1. Predictable/abrasive style of behavior

# 2. Nearly everyone finds them difficult

dealing with difficult people9
Dealing with Difficult People

5 Characteristics of Difficult People:

#3. They avoid blame and responsibility

  • See the world differently than we do
  • Do not believe problems can be resolved
  • Have not learned healthy problem solving procedure, learned to blame others.
dealing with difficult people10
Dealing with Difficult People

5 Characteristics of Difficult People:

#4. They are robbers of your time and energy.

  • 10% (difficult people) take up to 40-60% of management’s time.

# 5. Behavior out of proportion to problem.

“Most toxic people are blaming, complaining or draining” Jonathon Ellerby, Ph.D.

slide11

Dr. Ben Bissell Video:

“Pitfalls to Avoid in Dealing with Difficult People”

4 Pitfalls to Avoid

dealing with difficult people12
Dealing with Difficult People

4 Pitfalls in dealing with Difficult People

  • Do not excuse people’s behavior
  • Do not ignore behavior
  • Do not believe you can change these people
    • Change their behavior, not their personality
    • You and I teach people how to treat us
  • Do not collude - cooperate with difficult persons so they end up succeeding.
    • Difficult people either lean in or out and want you to do the same.
dealing with difficult people13
Dealing with Difficult People

5 Steps to Stopping Difficult Behavior

#1. Must stand up “I am here to be taken seriously”

#2. Talk straight (7% words/38% tone/55% body language)

#3. Listen to them.

#4. Avoid Triangling.

#5. Move to problem solving.

slide14

Resolving Conflict One-to-One

Dealing with Difficult People

2. PAUSE!

Understand the

Other Person

1. Determine

Involvement

“Is behavior or

issue worth my

time & effort

to deal with?”

Source: Bad Apples video

hitting the pause button
Hitting the Pause Button

Remember - Difficult people make you think backwards!

“Brain scientists have identified how such people do it: by subverting the way your brain makes decision. Strong emotions actually short-circuit the brain’s rational thought processes.”

Mark Goulston , M.D. author of Just Listen: Discover the Secret to Getting Through to Absolutely Anyone

slide16

Dealing with Difficult People

3. Influence

Behavior

Communicate

how their

behavior affects

you

(and others

if appropriate)

and the business.

2. PAUSE!

Understand the

Other Person

1. Determine

Involvement

“Is behavior or

issue worth my

time & effort

to deal with?”

Source: Bad Apples video

slide17

Dealing with Difficult People

  • Plan your words
    • Choose words that indicate that you do not want to continue the battle, but sincerely seeking positive dialogue.
    • Define the issue as narrow as possible. Be specific. Focus.
    • Identify words or topics that should be avoided. Would offend or only make matters worse.
    • Avoid "you always", "you never", "every time".
    • What words best describe your feelings? (concerned, frustrated, confused, disappointed, hurt, etc)
    • How the problem is impacting you. Use "I" statements: "When You _____, I Feel _____.As a result_____."
    • Offer your suggestions for solving the issue.

3. Influence

Behavior

Communicate

how their

behavior affects

you

(and others

if appropriate)

and the business.

Source: Bad Apples video and The Peace Maker, Ken Sande, 2004

slide18

Dealing with Difficult People

3. Influence

Behavior

Communicate

how their

behavior affects

you

(and others

if appropriate)

and the business.

2. PAUSE!

Understand the

Other Person

1. Determine

Involvement

“Is behavior or

issue worth my

time & effort

to deal with?”

4. Resolve the

Problem

Define

expectations.

Discuss and

agree

on best solution.

5. Recover &

Move On

Regain positive

attitude about

person and

situation.

Source: Bad Apples video

summary
Summary
  • On any given day, all of us can be difficult!
  • Chose your battles.
  • Pause before reacting. Understand your natural response to conflict.
  • Listen and give respect. Understand their viewpoint.
  • Recover and move on.