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Every workplace has them – employees who are adequate at their jobs but not particularly pleasant to be around.

For leaders in a company, the challenge is to raise the communication level when dealing with difficult people without getting into an ugly personality clash. For employees dealing with a difficult boss, it’s important to stay calm and not lose your dignity.

Experts in this area say the first order of business is recognizing the signs of difficult behavior. One of the most common difficult types of people encountered in an office is the gossip. This personality type often behaves this way out of their own insecurities or to create drama in order to entertain themselves. Best approach with an office gossip is to stay out of gossipy conversations and avoid sharing details of your personal life with this person.

Another difficult personality type to beware of is the volatile employee. This is the highly emotional type who may fly off the handle at any time. But it’s important to remain calm when they are emotionally agitated, and also try to calm them down if possible. Above all, focus on protecting your own interests when in the presence of someone in a state of high emotionality.

A very common difficult person is the control freak. This is a person who is usually extremely critical of others. These people may have traits of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) even if they do not have the disorder itself. They often feel the need to control the outcome of seemingly everything and everyone around them and may even step over appropriate boundaries and attempt to control situations that aren’t relevant to their own job duties. 

A control freak is an especially tricky type of unpleasant personality to deal with because they are often passive aggressive and may be quietly trying to control you while smiling pleasantly. Again, it’s crucial to remain calm and do not take it personally when their need for controlling is especially noticeable. Sometimes, letting go of control is the best way to deal with the control freak when the situation does not really matter or does not have an adverse effect on your performance.

For managers, dealing with difficult people often leads to a more structured approach. If the employee continues to be difficult and other employees are complaining, it’s best to have a direct talk with the problem employee and document the meeting with both your signatures.

Want to know more about dealing with difficult people? Tonex offers How To Deal With Difficult People, a 2-day course that is designed for leaders, managers, partners, teachers, parents, and all the individuals who are having a hard time dealing with difficult people at work, school, home or among friends.

Additionally, Tonex offers 120 different courses in a dozen categories in Leadership training. For more information, questions, comments, contact us.

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