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Do You Have a Plan for Managing Tough Personalities?

Posted on December 14th, 2016 Read time: 2 minutes

Because you manage people, you’re going to come across some are more difficult to interact with than others. However, those challenging employees may be among your best workers. Rather than letting them go, you may want to hold onto them. Follow these tips on dealing with tough personalities so you can manage your staff more effectively.


The Narcissist

 Due to their exaggerated sense of self-importance, a narcissist demands constant attention and praise. Because a narcissist is self-absorbed, they don’t care about others’ feelings and lack empathy. Therefore, letting the employee know how their behavior affects others is ineffective. Rather, let the narcissist know how changing their behavior in specific ways will serve them personally. For example, if they treat others more respectfully, they are more likely to be promoted. The narcissist will be more inclined to change their actions then, benefitting everyone.

The Passive-Aggressive

 A passive-aggressive employee cannot be trusted to do what they say they’ll do.  For example, they may say they’ll work on a project but not follow through, or show up 10 minutes late for a meeting. Because a passive-aggressive worker most likely wants to advance within your company, set very clear expectations for how you want them to act. For example, let them know they need to be on time for every meeting and follow through on their commitments.

The Gossip

 Gossiping brings down everyone in your organization. Let the gossip know their behavior is not helping employee morale or company growth. Encourage everyone to not engage in such behavior and change the subject or walk away when someone does.

 The Anger Addict

 The anger addict often yells at co-workers, accusing them of doing things to sabotage the addict’s career. Because this behavior is unacceptable, you need to set strong boundaries about treating others with respect. Offer professional counseling to the angry employee, and let them know they may be replaced if their behavior doesn’t improve. 

The Guilt Tripper

 When the guilt tripper doesn’t have their way, they make their co-workers feel bad about it. For example, the guilt tripper may have missed out on a desired project or perk that a colleague received. It’s best you teach the employee to communicate with “I feel…” statements, such as “I feel I should work on that project because I excel with numbers,” rather than by saying someone did something to them.


Because you’re going to come across difficult employees at work, it’s important you have a plan for dealing with them effectively. For additional assistance with growing your business,  contact the experts at Innovative Employee Solutions today!

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