Leaders are often tasked with dealing with several different personality types, some of whom are difficult to cope with. However, even in the most trying situations when working with difficult people in the office, it is important to maintain a sense of decorum. Part of that decorum is knowing how to avoid frustration and still lead with patience. A working knowledge of the different personality types can help effective leaders with employee grievance handling and enable them to avoid conflict and improve overall workplace productivity.
Though there are many types of difficult people in workplace, the five most common types that leaders will have to handle typically fall into these categories: the bully, the gossip, the narcissist, the naysayer and the passive aggressive type. While each of these personalities have their shortcomings, each of the negative traits they display can be turned into positives with patience and perseverance.
From a leader’s perspective, a way to turn negative behavior into a positive experience is to remember to stay focused on the specific goal that is trying to be obtained. One key to neutralizing the negative behavior in the workplace is to actually include the person in the conversation. Even the most hostile negative behaviors can be neutralized when attention to the task at hand is prevalence.
Regardless of the type of worker encountered at work, a true leader knows how to handle confrontations in the workplace, and in many cases, is able to diffuse the negative traits of many personality types. Another key to neutralizing negative behavior is following Franklin Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. One of these habits involves an internal shifting of attitudes toward people with problem behavior. Called a paradigm shift, this approach often allows leaders to gain a better understanding of an employee’s reason for the negative behavior.
Many will think acknowledging negative behavior is counterproductive. However, leaders who keep the goal of a meeting in mind know that negative behavior is often a manifestation of frustration on the part of the employee who feels unheard or undervalued. The simple act of listening to an employee and encouraging participation can not only alter the course of a company, but also the negative behaviors.
The leader who know how to avoid frustration and still lead with patience can gain not only the confidence of those he or she leads, but can also bring out the best qualities in employees who sometimes exhibit the worst traits.