In fact, people can turn out to be some of the most unpleasant beings you’ll ever meet. This would make working at the office stressful and downright terrible at times.
It’s a good thing that Dr. Rick Brinkman & Dr. Rick Kirschner’s “Dealing With People You Can’t Stand” assures us that it doesn’t have to be like that. The book serves as a masterfully written guide for the folks in the office that can get on your nerves.
Brinkman and Kirschner both bring their personal study of human personality to the table by listing down certain difficult people in the workplace and how to deal with each one. Here are a few notable examples:
The Tank is a hulk of a persona, usually depicted as the co-worker who is pushy and aggressive. They tend to steamroll through anyone in their path whether they’re in their way or not. Handling the Tank is to become the immovable object to their unstoppable force.
Hold your ground. Don’t let the Tank intimidate or roll over you, but never stoop down to becoming a Tank yourself. Be firm yet civil, aggressive yet peaceful. Eventually, a Tank will hit the brakes to listen to what you have to say.
Back then, these people would just be called sarcastic. With their biting sarcasm and perfectly timed eye-rolls, Snipers have it out for making you look like a fool at an opportune time. When you think there’s a Sniper in the office out for your reputation, the best thing to do is to lure them out first and bring them out of hiding.
If push comes to shove, and by that, if the Sniper becomes a Tank by turning the tables on you, be calm and civil instead of being confrontational. You’ll crack through the Sniper in no time.
Who knows, you might know why the Sniper has it out for you, or maybe you won’t. Your best solution would be to get the Sniper on your side. The best way to resolve conflict, near or far as it may be, is to never have any at all.
Having someone who can let loose randomly in the office is just as dangerous as pulling the pin off of an actual grenade.
These people can be calm one moment but can explode out of nowhere and begin a tirade on things that have nothing to do with the present situation. A typical reaction to your first encounter with the Grenade would be “what on earth did I do wrong?!” When they explode, there seems to be nothing that you can do. But not so!
Get the attention of a Grenade. Call out their name with your hands waving slowly back and forth in front of you. If you also listen intently, you might even find out what caused this explosion in the first place.
Be genuine in wanting to hear the Grenade out and say what they need to hear. All it takes is to diffuse the situation by calming them down and finding out what pulled their pin in the first place.
Every smarty in the office wants to pull their inner Einstein to establish dominance in the office.
While having an intellectual co-worker can actually benefit the workplace as a whole, it will prove to be counterproductive. The Know-It-All will not back down from what they think they know is right and will actually blame you for trying to correct them.
Confronting a Know-It-All means you have to be prepared as well and that you have your facts straight. Know-It-Alls will defend themselves to the death when it comes to their facts that they’ve established as law.
That said, it’s important to remember that you are not confronting the Know-It-All for their throne. You want to help them see from your point of view and present a counter-argument with well-established facts of your own.
While you’re at it, form a mentor relationship with a Know-It-All, and you’ll have someone to turn to for knowledge in the future.
The Nothing Person
There are Yes people, and there are No people. And somewhere along the middle are the Maybe folks, and outside all of that, are the people that are squatting just outside the gray area… the Nothing people.
What do Nothing people do? You get no answers from them, verbal or non-verbal at all. Maybe a “yes” or “no” every now and then. But most of the time? They give nothing. You get nothing. You lose. Your other co-workers lose. Your company loses.
Dealing with a Nothing person requires a lot of patience and waiting on your part.
Plan it out by:
- Asking them open-ended questions that can’t be answered by a yes or no.
- Lightening up the mood with a little humor.
- Guessing. If all else fails, try putting yourself in the Nothing person’s shoes to get a better perspective.
- Showing them the future. Sure, there’s no time like the present, but taking them out of the moment and into the future can show them that staying quiet leaves them no opportunity to open up more.
Brinkman and Kirschner show that when you deal with people you can’t stand, it also tends to open up windows into your own psyche that you didn’t know you had.
You might even find yourself in any one of these people that you face. At the end of the day, dealing with these people should give you an idea on how to fix mistakes for the better.
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