Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Book review: Dealing with Difficult People

Dealing with Difficult People: 24 Lessons for Bringing Out the Best In Everyone.
Dr. Rick KirschnerDr. Rick Brinkman  

From the back cover:

In every workplace there are difficult people who, at best, make life stressful and, at worst, can keep you from achieving important goals. But it's within your power to bring out the best behaviour in people who are their worst.

If you are interested in working with people more effectively or work with quirky people and aren't sure how to deal with that this book is good place to start.

The book breaks up what it lists as the 10 most unwanted behaviours:

The Tank

The Sniper

The Grenade

The Know-it-All

The Think-They-Know-it-All

The Yes Person

The Maybe Person

The Nothing Person

The No Person

The Whiner

You can pretty much guess the behaviours of each from what they are called and you probably have already matched some to people you know.

I kind of think we all have a little of all of those within is.

The book starts with some initial general ideas for dealing with all 10. Things like:

Understand that everybody reacts differently to these types of behaviour: The person who's most irritating to you may be perfectly acceptable to someone else.

It then goes into Choosing your approach, then understanding the behaviours and intent.  Four intents are written about:

get it done
get it right
get along
get appreciated

It delves a little deeper into communication and briefly discusses things like blending and redirecting. Pygmalion power is also mentioned.

After that it starts focussing in on the list of 10 and digging in deeper to each one.

I found there were some mixed messages, in some sections there are statments such as 'There's no magic formula; you are the best judge of which choice is right in any particular situation' and in a different section there is the following 'Here is a surefire five-step process to break your Nothing Person's silence'

All in all it's a good starting point if you are interested in this kind of thing.  

Read it, ingest it, think about it.

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