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Dealing With People You

Can’t Stand

Frank V. Payne, PMP


project management evangelist

Project Management Preparatory Academy


www.pmpacademy.com 800-239-0263 678-578-2373
Introduction
By the end of this Session, you will be able to----
 Examine the forces that compel people to be difficult
in such a variety of ways
 Examine the central communication skills that turn
conflict into cooperation, conflict into reason, and
hidden agendas into honest dialogue
 Focus on specific strategies for dealing with the ten
most difficult behaviors of the people you can’t stand
 Bring out the best in people at their worst

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Difficult People Characteristics
Let’s be clear, you can’t change
difficult people, you can
communicate with them in such a
way that they changed themselves.
It’s a matter of knowing how to get
through to them when they are
behaving badly

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Key Components of the Mind

Conscious Subconscious

Conscience

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The Mind Triad
 Level 1: Conscious – Use to think through a
situation. Once information is memorized it is then
transferred to the subconscious mind.
 Level 2: Subconscious – the security gate,
protector, the guard of information. This is where
the good, bad and ugly is stored.
 Level 3: Conscience – this is information that
guide your life. Whatever gets here first, has
dominance.
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Your Belief Window System

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The 10 Behavior Characteristics
We will identify 10 specific behavior patterns
sane people resort to when they feel
threatened. These represent the struggle
with undesired circumstances.

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The 10 Most Unwanted List
Behaviors of people you
can’t stand
 The TANK
 The SNIPER
 The KNOW-IT-ALL
 The THINK-THEY-
KNOW-IT-ALL
 The GRENADE
 The YES PERSON

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The 10 Behavior Characteristics
Behaviors of people you
can’t stand
 The MAYBE PERSON
 The NOTHING
PERSON
 The NO PERSON
 The WHINER

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Strategies for Difficult People
When dealing with difficult people, you
always have a choice
 You can stay and do nothing
 You can vote with your feet
 You can change your attitude about your
difficult person
 You can change your behavior

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You can stay and do nothing

 Suffering through it, and complaining to


someone who can not help you
 Doing nothing is dangerous because
frustration with difficult people tend to build
up
 Complaining to other people tend to lower
morale and productivity
 Doing nothing postpones effective actions

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You can vote with your feet

 Sometimes our best option is to walk away


 When it no longer makes any sense to
continue to deal with a person
 If everything you say make matters worse
 When you find yourself losing control,
remember that discretion is the better part of
valor

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You Can Change Your Attitude

 Learned to see them differently


 Listen to them differently
 Feel differently around them
 Focus on your attitudinal changes
 A change in your attitude is absolutely
necessary, if you want to be successful

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You Can Change Your Behavior

 You must change the way you deal with


difficult people
 Learn to bring out the best in others
 Understand what brings the worst out of you
 Learning strategies for dealing with problem
behavior

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How to Bring Out
The Best in
People at Their
Worst?

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The TANK
The TANK is confrontational,
pointed, and angry, the ultimate
in pushy and aggressive
behavior. Pushy and ruthless,
loud and forceful, or with the
quiet intensity and surgical
precision of a laser, the TANK
assumes that the end justifies
the means. Expect no mercy.

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The TANK
Whenever you’re being
verbally assaulted, attacked,
and accused, your goal
must be to command
respect because TANKs
simply don’t attack people
they respect.

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The SNIPER
This covert operator identifies
your weaknesses and uses
them against you, through
sabotage behind your back
and well-aimed putdowns in
front of the crowd. Whether
through rude comments, biting
sarcasm, or a well timed roll of
the eyes, making you look
foolish is the SNIPER specialty

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The SNIPER
Your goal when dealing with a SNIPER is to
bring the SNIPER out of hiding. Whatever
type of SNIPER you face, whether the
playful SNIPER, the controlling SNIPER, or
grudge SNIPER, you only need to
remember this: a SNIPER can’t snipe if
there’s nowhere to hide.

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The Know-It- All
This person knows 98 percent of
everything. Just ask them! KNOW-IT-
ALL will tell you what they know, for
hours at a time, but won’t take a
second to listen to your clearly inferior
ideas. Seldom in doubt, the KNOW-IT-
ALL has a low tolerance for correction
and contradiction. If something goes
wrong, however, the KNOW-IT-ALL will
speak with the same authority about
who’s the blame ------ you!

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The Know-It- All

Your goal is to open his or her mind to new


information and ideas.

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The THINK-THEY-KNOW-IT-ALL
This character doesn’t know much,
but doesn’t let that get in the way.
Exaggerating, bragging,
misleading, and distracting, and
pulls you off the track. THINK-
THEY-KNOW-IT-ALL can’t 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.

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THINK-THEY-KNOW-IT-ALL Action Plan

Your goal is to catch them in the act and


give their bad ideas the proverbial hook,
without putting them on the defensive.

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The GRENADE
When they blow their tops, they are
unable to stop, and shrapnel hits
everyone in range. When the
smoke clears, the dust settles, the
cycle begins building to critical
mass again. After a brief period of
calm, the GRENADE explodes into
unfocused ranting and raving
about things that have nothing to
do with the present circumstances.

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The GRENADE
Your goal is to take control of the situation
when the GRENADE loses it. Though it is
impossible for you to stop a GRENADE
from exploding once the pin is pulled,
GRENADE can stop themselves given the
right circumstances. You can create those
circumstances.

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The YES PERSON
Quick to agree, slow to deliver up,
the YES PERSON leaves a trail of
unkept commitments and broken
promises. Though they please no
one, Yes People over commit to
please. In an effort to please
people and avoid confrontation,
Yes People say “yes” without
thinking

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The YES PERSON
Your goal with this problem person is to get
commitments you can count on, by
making it safe for the person to be honest,
teaching him or her task management
strategies

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The MAYBE PERSON
When faced with a crucial decision, they
keep putting it off until it’s too late.
But there comes a point when the
decision makes itself. Then it’s
nobody’s fault but their own. In a
moment of decision, the MAYBE
PERSON procrastinates in the hope
that a better choice will present itself.
Sadly, with most decisions, there
comes a point when it’s too little, too
late, and the decision makes itself.

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The MAYBE PERSON
The MAYBE PERSON does not know a systematic
method for choosing between imperfect choices.
Your goal is to give this person a strategy for
decision making and the motivation to use it.

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The NOTHING PERSON
You won’t know what’s going on
because they give you no verbal
and no nonverbal feedback.
They seal their mouths and
stare past you as if you’re not
there.

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The NOTHING PERSON
Regardless of why NOTHING PERSON tells you
nothing, your goal is to persuade the NOTHING
PERSON to talk. That is not only possible, it is
probable, because when you use this strategy,
nothing can stop you.

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The NO PERSON
Discouraging, they drive others to
despair. More deadly to morale
than a speeding bullet, more
powerful than hope, able to
defeat the ideas with a single
syllable. Disguised as a mild
mannered normal person, the NO
PERSON fights a never ending
battle for futility, hopelessness,
and despair.

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The NO PERSON
When dealing with a NO PERSON, your goal is to
move from all fault finding toward problem solving,
from stagnation toward innovation, from declining
toward improvement. You may not stop the flood of
negativity completely, but you can succeed in
turning the tide back to its proper course.

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The WHINER
They wallow in their woe, whine
incessantly, and carry the weight of the
world on their shoulders. A WHINER
feel helpless and overwhelmed by an
unfair world. Their standard is
perfection, and no one and nothing
measures up to it. But misery loves
company, so they bring their problems
to you. Offering solutions makes you
the bad person, so their whining
escalates.

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The WHINER
You goal is to team up with them to form a problem
solving alliance and if that doesn’t work, then your
goal is to get them to go away.

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What If People Can’t Stand You

 By now you’ve probably recognize


that you to have days when you are at
you worst. So what can you do about
it? You may find the answer by
looking back at the 10 behaviors we
just discussed.

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Summary
Behaviors of people you
can’t stand
 The TANK
 The SNIPER
 The KNOW-IT-ALL
 The THINK-THEY-
KNOW-IT-ALL
 The GRENADE
 The YES PERSON

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Summary
Behaviors of people you
can’t stand
 The MAYBE PERSON
 The NOTHING
PERSON
 The NO PERSON
 The WHINER

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Where to Get More Information
 Dealing With Relatives (...even if you can't
stand them)
Rick Brinkman, Rick Kirschner

The Wisdom of Teams
Jon R. Katzenbach, Douglas K. Smith

 How to Deal with Difficult People


Rick Brinkman, Rick Kirschner

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Where to Get More Information

 Frank Payne, PMP


 Frank.payne@wainscottfinch.com
 678-578-2373 or
 678-578-2327

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