Working With People You Can't Stand!
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Working With People You Can't Stand!

In a perfect world with perfect people, the likelihood of encountering people who rub us the wrong way would probably be zero to none! Could it be that we would all be carbon copies of one another?  Well much to our amusement, we are all different on multiple levels! Needless to say, that would include cultural, upbringing, influences, thought processes, perceptions, and of course, the list goes on.  So what do we do when we are working in close proximity to folk we can’t stand?  Or…are we one of those folk that others can’t stand… difficult to work with, unpleasant to communicate with, transferring negative energy, etc…?  Whether we are on either side of the spectrum, there are some useful tools that will help us be more palatable to others, and/or be able to reasonably deal with people at their worst.
This topic clearly renders a lengthy discussion, and has a more conclusive approach then what I am sharing with you in this blog.  Subsequently, I will post other relevant information pertaining to this relational issue. For now, I will keep it pretty simple and basic.
 Brinkman and Kirchner, authors of “Dealing With People You Can’t Stand How to Bring Out the Best in People at Their Worst” offer 10 types of people (behavioral patterns) who fit on their  “MostUnWanted List”, as well as four key elements to solving  your people-issues in and out of the workplace.
1. The Tank – confrontational, pushy, overbearing, angry and aggressive.
2. The Sniper –rude person whose main objective is to take shots at others with sarcasm, cynicism, and biting comments.
3. The Grenade – one who exhibits explosive, unfocused.
ranting and raving over petty things that are totally irrelevant to the current circumstance at hand.
4. The Know-It-All - the authoritative one whose tolerance for correction and contradiction bottoms out. In event of something going south, this person has no problem with putting the blame on you.
5. The Think-They-Know-It-All – These people “cannot fool all the people all the time, but they can fool some of the people enough of the time, and enough of the people all of the time, all for the sake of getting some attention.”
6. The Yes Person – does not know how to say “no”. Often times, in an effort to please everyone, the Yes person will agree to do something, or make commitments and not keep them. The interesting thing is, this person says yes, without thinking things totally through. They will over-commit and then become resentful when they have too much on their plate.
7. The Maybe Person - when faced with an immediate decision, this person will procrastinate in hopes of a better option availing itself. In many cases, too little –too late!
8. The Nothing Person – not up for small talk, non- responsive, no feedback, blank stare, no non-verbal communication – absolutely nothing.
9. The No Person – this person will swim in circles of minutia, futility, hopelessness, and despair. A morale killer and a hope defeater will kill a positive vibe in a New York minute.
10.The Whiner – feels always under attack because life is so unfair. They are perfectionists in their own right, and no one can ever measure up. They carry their own personal dark cloud around them, and love to bring all their warranted and un-warranted issues to you.
It’s not uncommon to become frustrated with people who have these difficult-to-deal-with dispositions. Who really wants to deal with, work with, be around, or talk to these folk, particularly in the workplace?   You may be just a little fed up with being taking advantage of, abused, disregarded, or left to do most of the work because of the laziness or boldness of others. There is hope because there are choices you can make.  Below are 4 choices that Brinkman & Kirschner offer to help you counter these kinds of personalities: 
1.       Stay and do nothing. To do so would spell disaster, because doing nothing will cause already existing tensions to thicken and worsen. As the authors purport, complaining to others doesn’t help because ultimately it lowers morale and counters productivity.
2.       You can vote with your feet.  Sometimes you reach an impasse, and a viable solution is not possible. It is futile and pointless to continue to contend with someone who is completely immovable on anything that makes sense. It is at this point that it is ok to walk away before you find yourself on the brink of losing control, or making things worse regardless of what you say or do.
3.       You can change your attitude about your difficult person.  Attitude is at the hem of this choice. Sometimes people will continue to engage you with their difficult behavior, but you can learn to see, feel, and listen to them differently.  A simple attitude or perspective change can really be effective in how you deal with difficult people by seeing them from a different set of lens.
4.       You can change your behavior. Clear and simple, when you change your attitude towards a difficult person, guess what happens?  You inevitably change your behavior towards them. Now, they have to adapt and learn new ways of dealing with you. In other words, the authors are saying that we each have the power to bring out the best or worse in other people. It is ok to exercise that power to bring out the best in people who attempt to bring out the worst in you.
Today presents another opportunity to move yourself in the direction of being in a great place. It is in within your power of choice that you make this your BEST day ever!

9 Comments to Working With People You Can't Stand!:

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Chiquita on Monday, March 28, 2011 9:42 AM
Good presentation... I like it.
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Steph on Monday, March 28, 2011 8:27 PM
Thank you very much Chiquita!

Dad on Monday, March 28, 2011 3:50 PM
You go girl.
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Steph on Monday, March 28, 2011 8:28 PM
I am going all the way Dad!! Come and go with me - yaay!

Darnesheia on Tuesday, March 29, 2011 8:39 AM
very insightful. Attitude and actions: we can change our own and make each day a good one.
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