Dealing with Difficult Staff Presented by Bob Siegel July 14, 2010
Two to Remember *Confidentiality Agreement *Rule of 55/38/7 The Numbers of Meaning from where people derive meaning 55% see 38% sounds 7% actual words
Small Group Discussion Identify difficult staff persons you have had. - first name - position - what made them a pain • How did you feel dealing with them? • His/her effect on your school? • His/her effect on other employees? • Consequences of their behavior? * What is their “pet” phrase?
Remember It is the behavior (of the person) that is difficult not the person him/herself. …”everybody is somebody’s difficult person at least some of the time.” So… Who are they?
The Difficult Dirty Dozen Twelve specific behaviors that represent people at their worst. • The Tank • The Sniper • The Know-It-All • The Think-They-Know-It-All • The Grenade • The Gossip • The Yes Person • The Maybe Person • The Nothing Person • The No Person • The Whiner • The Self-Promoter
Let’s Meet Our Contestants *The Tank The Tank is confrontational, pointed, and angry; the ultimate in pushy and aggressive behavior. *The Sniper Whether through rude comments, biting sarcasm, or a well-timed roll of the eyes, making you look foolish is the Sniper’s specialty. *The Grenade After a brief period of calm, the Grenade explodes into unfocussed ranting and raving about things that have nothing to do with the present circumstances.
Contestants *The Know-It-All Seldom in doubt, The Know-It-All has a low tolerance for correction and contradiction. If something goes wrong, however, the Know-It-All will speak with the same authority about who’s to blame – you! *The Think-They-Know-It-All Think-They-Know-It-All’s can’t fool all of the people all of the time, but they think they can fool some of the people enough of the time, And enough of the people all of the time- all for the sake of getting Some attention.
Contestants *The Yes Person In an effect to please people and avoid confrontation, Yes People say “Yes” without thinking things through. They react to the latest demands on their time by forgetting prior commitments and over-commit until they have no time for themselves. Then, they become resentful. *The Maybe Person In a moment of decision, the Maybe Person procrastinates In the hope that a better choice will present itself. Sadly, with Most decisions, there comes a point when it is too little, too late ….and the decision makes itself!
Contestants *The Nothing Person No verbal feedback, no verbal feedback. Nothing. What else can you expect from …the Nothing Person. *The No Person More deadly to moral than a speeding bullet, more powerful than hope, able to defeat big ideas with a single syllable. Disguised as a mild mannered normal person, the No Person fights a never ending battle for futility, hopelessness, and despair.
Contestants *The Whiner Whiners feel hopeless and overwhelmed by an unfair world. Their standard is perfection, and no one and nothing measures up to it. But misery loves company, so they bring their problems to you. Offering solutions makes bad company so their whining escalates. * The Self-Promoter No matter what topic or task is at hand, Self-Promoters see it as an opportunity to advertise themselves. The rest of the group is present merely to applaud, while Self-Promoters continue to broadcast their greatness… after all, that is why we came to work.
Contestants *The Gossip -You tell me-
Four Choices When confronted with any of these difficult behaviors, you have four choices. 1. You can stay and do nothing. 2. You can vote with your feet. 3. You can change your attitude about your difficult person. 4. You can change your behavior. Know the Zone of Normal.
The Four Intents 1. Get the TASK DONE. 2. Get the TASK RIGHT. 3. Get ALONG with PEOPLE. 4. Get APPRECIATION from PEOPLE. Which one resonates for you personally?
Know That…. It’s a challenge to balance all of our intents. As intent changes, so does behavior. You can hear where people are coming from. Shared priorities, no problem.
Fear = Behavior Intent – Get It Done Fear - Not getting it done Behavior – more controlling Intent – Get It Right Fear – Doing it wrong Behavior – more perfectionist Intent – Get Along Fear – Being left out Behavior – more approval seeking Intent – Get Appreciated Fear – Not being appreciated Behavior – more attention getting
Two Essential Communication Skills Blending Any behavior by which you reduce the differences between you and another in order to meet them where they are and move to common ground. Examples of blending? Redirecting Any behavior by which you use that rapport to change the trajectory of the interaction. Blending always precedes redirecting. Examples of redirecting?
Listen to Understand When your problem person is talking….. Your goal: Listen to Understand. Steps 1. Blend visibly and audibly 2. Backtrack some of the person’s own words. 3. Clarify the meaning, intent, and criteria. 4. Summarize what you have heard. 5. Confirm you got it right.
Reach a Deeper Understandingwhen discussions degenerate into conflict. • Identify Positive Intent • Identify Highly Valued Criteria
With Problem People… speak to be understood • Monitor the tone of your voice. • State the positive Intent. • Tactfully interrupt interruptions. • Tell your truth. • Be ready to listen. …Project and Expect the Best *Pygmalion Power *Give the benefit of the doubt. *Appreciate criticism.
Summary and Debrief Comments and Questions Thank you
RESOURCES • “Dealing with People You Can't Stand: How to Bring Out the Best in People at Their Worst”; by Brickman and Kirschner • Bob Siegel firstname.lastname@example.org 312-551-7139