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Last week I dealt with ways to manage the first four difficult people today the finale I will be dealing with the final 4


Tips to manage difficult people contd:

(5)The Agreeable (Can’t say No)

This is the person who has a hard time saying no, when it relates to work assignments in a work environment. They will attempt to undertake any assignment, even those given to them by people other than their own boss.  Why would they do this? Some people really are afraid to say no. They are afraid to be seen as incompetent or unable to carry enough of the load. Some people simply do not know their limits, or worse, they ignore them. In other situations, it is because the employee is a rookie or newbie on the team and doesn’t want to let the others down; for others it is a personality issue, or even the result of the culture in which they were raised. In some cultures, saying no is highly discouraged. As a result, people raised in this environment have a hard time when it comes to balancing the work-load effectively.


New Behaviour: build a relationship with them

Goal: Earn their trust and get them to be comfortable with you then let them know what you are concerned about.

Once you have built a good level of trust, you can begin by asking questions that are designed to help them understand that they are out of balance. Be careful, though, as they will often be very sensitive. In their mind, they are doing a really good thing. From their point of view, if they were not doing the work, it really would not get accomplished. Quite often though, even if they do manage to complete all of the work that they have taken on, the quality of that work will suffer.


(6)Dealing with the Know-It-All

Remember this sort of person has a low tolerance for contradiction and correction


 New Behaviour Know your stuff because if you don’t they will point it out very quickly,   state your position, assertive, invite discussion.

Goal: help them have an open mind and see alternatives, be aware of similar behaviour in yourself


In dealing with the Know-It-All, here are some bottom-line items to be aware of. Typically, they have been around a long time, and they do know a lot. So, make sure you know your stuff, because if you don’t, they will point it out very quickly. Recognize it, and respect it, but show them that maybe their ideas aren’t always the right answer or the right way.   The typical Know-It-All tends to be a bit of a bully as well. They have their idea, and they just won’t let it go.   You can try saying things like, “That’s a really good point, but have you thought of this? What if this or that happens?” Basically, you need help them see the alternatives. Will they ever admit they are wrong?  Typically not. It’s like trying to catch a greased pig. Most of the time, it’s not going to happen.  If you find yourself dealing with a Know-It-All in a meeting, ignore the temptation to make them look bad.


Do not alienate them. Throw an idea out there, and let it sit for a minute. Sometimes they may actually come around to it, but quite often, they will want to spin it so that it will seem as if it were their idea. And you know what? That is okay sometimes. Occasionally, selling an idea someone else wants to take credit for, once in a while, is okay. Your job is done, and the elimination of conflict will be better in the long run.


(7) Dealing with the Staller (procrastinator)

Ah, the Indecisive Staller. They don’t want to upset anyone, which really means that they want to please everyone. In their mind, the way to accomplish this is never to make a decision that ends up upsetting everyone! They don’t want to take a stand. Instead, they take the attitude that if they just leave the issue alone, it will go away. Yes, quite often it will go away, but only because someone else will have done the work, and now they’re mad too!

New behaviour:  Allow them time, show confidence in them, work towards a solution

Goal: to get them to make a stand, a commitment, a decision.

One way of helping them is to discuss the benefits of deciding. Talk about all the good that comes through getting off the fence and making a decision: work actually is accomplished, people are happy, morale will go   up, and projects will be able to move forward.  Another thing you can do is discuss a few options with them. This is basically the old salesman’s trick. Instead of saying, “Would you   like to buy   a bag today?” you say, “Which of the   bags will you be buying today, the red one or the blue one?” What you are doing is narrowing down their options, and forcing them to make a decision.


(8) The envious person

New behaviour: flood them with more good news even if it hurts; confront them when you can especially if it’s a horrible gossip or ignore them, really depends on the situation.

Goal: get them to not have a complex by appreciating what they have.

Different ways of dealing with Envy

(a)Envy from a Boss or Supervisor
One of the most difficult and an uncomfortable position to be in is when you have a boss who is envious of you. Inspired by his own insecurity or complex, your boss may lash out at you if his superior takes notice of you. It can be almost impossible to work under those conditions because the boss may inconvenience you with extra work so that you can fail.

For a jealous boss, the best way to handle it is by proving that you are a team player and re-establishing your loyalty to your superiors. You may not feel this generous, but consider that your immediate boss is most likely the one who will send out any future recommendations for you. Find ways to make your boss’ life easier. It may be as simple as being extra nice specifically for your boss. Simple and random acts of kindness will slowly but surely improve your relationship.

(b)Envy from a co-worker
Competition among co-workers can make for a healthy and thriving work environment, but there is a fine line between constructive competition and downright envy. If you are feeling the envy vibes from a co-worker, you may not know exactly how to confront him/ her. Should you speak to your co-worker directly? What if he/she denies envy, or finds a way to make you out to be the bad guy?

The best way to deal with envy from a co-worker is to ignore it. Giving the matter your attention will only cause it to grow into a more uncomfortable situation. Avoid speculating with other co-workers about this person’s alleged envy towards you. Also, do nothing to feed the fire. Just let in lie and be cordial or civil especially when you guys are working on a project… focus on the task at hand and sometimes hint to them some of the good skills they have so they do not feel too threatened by you by developing a complex.

 (c ) Envy from neighbours

Allow them to burn with envy: If  your neighbour is  envious of you because of your achievements, success or something that you have then flood  them with more good news about your life and let  them burn with  their own fire.

Confront them where appropriate: Be very careful while doing so because an envious person would never accept being told that he is envious. Just confront the person by telling them that you realized that he/she was gossiping about you, trying to put you down or that they were resentful. And let them make the conclusions themselves, if they are smart enough they will realize that you are telling them that you realized that he/she is suffering from the needle prick of the green eyed monster


Conflict between people arises inevitably and we all have to be prepared to manage difficult relationships at home and in the workplace from time to time. Most of these tips can be very  helpful in many  situations, please spend time this week applying these solutions and notice the difference… do not forget to look at yourself and ask yourself whether you have some of these traits of being difficult,  be aware and conscious of your actions and adjust yourself accordingly.