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Managing Difficult People

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Managing Difficult People

A Survival Guide For Handling Any Employee

Adams Media,

15 min read
10 take-aways
Audio & text

What's inside?

The nay sayers, the bullies, the social butterflies – every office has difficult characters. Here's how to manage them.

Editorial Rating



  • Applicable


You can learn how to handle problem employees three ways: figure it out for yourself, get a great mentor or read this book. Designed primarily for managers rather than human resources professionals, it's a handy guide to different problem personalities. Author Marilyn Pincus provides several alternative solutions for how to counter each type's negative influence on your organization. Her clear writing and thoughtful organization make the book even more useful. While author Pincus doesn't provide detailed advice on the legal and procedures aspects of employment, she does tell you when the ice is getting thin enough to seek the advice of professionals. getAbstract strongly prescribes her book to help bring managerial blood pressure readings back into the normal range.


It All Begins with You

When you are handling difficult employees, adopt the motto, "Manager, know thyself." Understanding your personality type puts you in a better position to evaluate others. Distinguish between those who have poor attitudes and those who are going through difficult personal or professional times. You can respond better if you diagnose the personalities behind the difficulties, but hard-to-handle employees come in all shapes and sizes, including: "The Bully, The Complainer, The Know-It-All, the Silent Type, The Social Butterfly, The 'No People Skills' Person, The Rookie, The Overly Sensitive Person and The Manipulator." Here are a few characteristics to look out for in some of these species:

Vintage Whine: The Negative Complainer

A truly negative person is unlikely to change without managerial intervention and, even then, you may not be able to change every sour worker. Some employees provide valuable skills despite their negativity, but be careful since negative attitudes can spread beyond one person into an entire organization. Since positive attitudes also spread, your attitude is often the best tool for managing a negative person.


About the Author

Marilyn Pincus is a management consultant in Sun Lakes, Arizona. She has written for major business publications and is a member of the International Association of Business Communicators.

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