You are a reasonable person, but maybe some of your coworkers by the middle of the morning start to become demanding, and picky, and angry, and start whining that nobody cares. Talk about difficult people.  Have you ever wondered why do people become difficult?

One of my favorite books is entitled, ”Dealing with People You Can’t Stand” written by Dr. Rick Brinkman and Dr. Rick Kirschner.

The books claims that we all have four intentions in the workplace; to get it done, get it right, get along, and get appreciation.

  • When someone wants to get it done, we should focus on the task and our communications are brief and to the point.
  • When someone wants to get it right, we should focus on the details, every “i” dotted and every “t” crossed, and our reports are well documented.
  • When people want to get along, we should focus on the relationship, and we should engage in considerate conversations and friendly chit-chat.
  • When someone wants to get appreciation, of course we should recognize their contributions with words of gratitude.

The problem with difficult people is that we don’t like them, and we might drag our feet and bite our tongue. So when people worry things may not get done, they become more controlling. When people fear things will be done wrong, they become more perfectionistic. When people feel left out, they become more approval seeking. When people don’t get appreciation, they become more attention seeking. And they become “difficult people” that we can’t stand. We might be contributing to the problem. 

At work we all want to get it done, whatever it is. If we are going to do it, we might as well do it well. And it sure would be nice if we could get along. Wouldn’t it be nice to get some appreciation? Hey try this: If you’re not getting it, start giving it.

To learn more on dealing with difficult people watch Kit’s keynote presentation here. Check back to every Monday for a new video blog.