So that we don’t make them difficult

Difficult people are not difficult, they are just different; we make them difficult.
– Coach Joe Gilliam

Have you ever worked with that difficult person, who just drove you and everyone around you crazy? What characteristics did they possess? Were they the type who could be set off at any time like a time bomb? Maybe they just sat there like bumps on a log and never participated. Did they whine about how much work they have?

Have you ever noticed that the person who complains about how busy they are is never as busy as those who do not complain? What is a difficult person to you? Is it the person who yells, screams, and curses at you? Is it someone who is needy? What about the show off? The fact is that each of these and others are considered by many to be difficult people.

Teamwork Skills - Coping with Different PeopleIn fact, you may have been considered difficult by someone at some time in the past. I know I have been on more than one occasion. So let’s break down the most common types of difficult behaviors. Note I said behaviors and not people.

The people are not difficult, it is the behavior they demonstrate that is difficult for us to cope with and work through.

Ideally, we would like to offer “career redirection” advice (often referred to as firing them) or at least guide them to change their behavior. The fact is that we cannot change another person. Regardless how much we try, we cannot change others. People will change behavior based on two factors alone: a need or an emotion. Have you ever had someone who is nice enough to you, and then all of a sudden became friendlier towards you? Think back and determine did they have a need at that time?

I am often referred to as a “Motivational Speaker” and, while my teamwork skills programs are inspirational and motivational, the fact remains that I cannot motivate anyone who does not want to be motivated. It is important to remember, however, that everyone wants to be motivated and we are all motivated by different things. The ultimate secret is knowing what motivates different people. The only way to know this is to get to know the person.

Coping with what we call different people involves a lot of learning on our part. Start by separating the behavior from the individual, then deal with, or address the behavior.

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