Job and Career

What Every Manager Needs to Know About Difficult People

Difficult employees are known for causing disruption & anxiety.  If you take the time to look beyond the behavior, the employee may be able to be saved and anxiety kept to a minimum.   How can a manager get “tuned in” to deal with the traits head on ultimately leading to a more productive employee and engaged performer?  Let’s take a look at some of the secrets difficult employees may have:

  • They want to be liked.  It seems contradictory, but they do want to be liked and fit into the fabric of an organization.  They like to have a loyal band of followers which satisfies their need to be liked. 
  • They want to be noticed.  The best thing a manager can do is highlight the good performance attributes and coach the not-so-good.
  • They are hard on themselves.  They tend to dwell on others’ mistakes often as a way to cope with their own.  The way they interact with those around them is an indicator of how they treat themselves.
  • They are emotional.  They tend to lash out as a way to cope when they don’t get things right or when things don’t go right.   
  • They are sensitive.  They tend to pull the negative out of any situation which drives their interactions and prompts emotional reactions.
  • They are passionate.  They really do care about the workplace, but the habit of focusing on the negative, fueled with passion can be a toxic blend.
  • They are socially smart.  They are very adept in getting groups or departments of people to agree with their antics.  They know how far they can push things before causing too much self-risk.
  • They are competitive.  They measure how managers treat the population and may even target an employee who is a favorite. 
  • They are insecure.  To them attention is positive even though it may be negative.
  • They are afraid.  They tend to operate from a core of fear.  They kick up a bunch of dust while focusing on broken processes and underperforming colleagues.  All of this in search of their own glory from management.

Does this sound familiar?  Need more answers?  Attend an upcoming Best Care EAP boot camp.

Get a jump start on what you do to help the employee recognize their behaviors and practice ways of coaching the employee that can be a win-win for everyone. 

Register today, call (402) 354-8000 or (800) 801-4182 or send an email to @email or visit our Training and Events page