The 6 Types of ‘Difficult People’…which are you?

It is highly likely that at some point in your working life you will encounter difficult people. As frustrating as some people can be, once you adopt an alternative way of coping with specific patterns of behaviour difficult people simply become fresh challenges that help your interpersonal, communication and professional skills develop and grow. Once you realise that people are not their behaviour a spectrum of possibilities opens up for you to explore.

Difficult people demonstrate specific patterns of behaviour as a way of compensating for lack of assured confidence, confirmed knowledge and ability and/or other perceived shortcomings. ‘Reading’ behaviour enables you to successfully identify the potential behaviour challenge and provides you with valuable information on how to deflect, deter or manage the on-coming situation.

The most common hostile/aggressive, super-agreeable and indecisive behaviours are usually displayed by:

  1. The Tank – This person is a handful in any situation. They can be loud, domineering, bossy and explosive. Their aim, no matter what, is to get their own way.
  2. The Sniper – This person enjoys engaging in mean spirited teasing and is skilled in passive-aggressive behaviour that always rocks the boat. Their aim is to sabotage relationships particularly within a team.
  3. The Yes Person – This person is super agreeable and super nice. Their aim is to be liked and so they will agree with everything you say until action is required. Once a commitment to action is made they suddenly become almost invisible.
  4. The ‘No’ Person – This person loves to stall. They try to be helpful but put off making any decisions through fear of rocking the boat. Pessimistic behaviour is also frequently demonstrated because doubt and fear of failure take control.
  5. The Know-It-All – This person is either an expect with delusions of grandeur and a forceful personality or a pretentious wannabe expert who gets confused by the facts.
  6. The Whiner – This person finds fault in absolutely everything and everyone. Their complaining is chronic but their self-righteous attitude rarely seeks solutions or improvements.

Identifying and understanding the behaviour enables you set effective strategies in place so that any difficult situation has an adaptable and flexible solution.

Success in life, in anything, depends upon the number of persons that one can make himself agreeable to.

Thomas Carlyle
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