Working with Difficult People

bullet Seven Types of Difficult People

bullet ABC's of Conflict Resolution

bullet Scenarios

bullet Resources


Seven Personality TypesResponses to Conflict
Bobbie the BullyAvoiding
Know it All IzzyAccommodating
Agreeable AngelBargaining
Carroll the ComplainerCompeting
Negative NonnieCollaborating
Quinn the Quiet One
Sam the Staller

bullet Difficult People-- Scenarios


John and Mike work in the same department. Mike is a new employee. John has worked at the company for a long time.
John and Mike do the same job. They have the same job title. They have to work together.
John likes to do things they way they have always been done. He is very vocal.
Because he's been there so long, he thinks he knows how to do things.
And he tells others about it, whether or not they ask.
Mike tries hard to follow company rules. Mike is a very quiet man. He doesn't talk much.
He has conservative and traditional values. Employees must clock in within 5 minutes of the start of their shifts.
They are supposed to clock in at their own buildings, but there isn't any way to check this.
John always clocks in at another building so he won't be marked as tardy.
He always gets to his work station at least 10 minutes late.
At least a couple of times each week, somebody asks Mike where John is.
Mike is tired of covering for John. He has kept it in for a long time.
Finally, one morning, John is 20 minutes late. Mike has to cover for John 2 times.
When John finally appears, Mike tells him he's not going to cover for him anymore.
John says, "Hey, I clocked in. I've been doing this for years.
As long as you don't say anything, nobody will ever know. Just shut the %&# up and do your job."
Mike and John start shouting at each other. The team leader walks in just as it looks like John is going to hit Mike.


At the ABC Auto Parts Company people work in teams. When a line doesn't have enough parts, the workers are sent to other lines.
Sue is a complainer. She whines all the time.
She is sent to a new line for the day. Andy greets her. Andy smiles and says, "We're glad to have you as part of our team today.
We like having people from other departments help us."
Sue answers, "This isn't what I was hired to do. I'm only here because I have to be."
Andy tries to explain the work on the line. But every time he says something, Sue whines.
Andy decides to try to make the best of it. On the morning break, several other
team members complain to Andy about how much Sue complains.
Later in the day, the line stops while more parts are brought in.
Sue whines, "This is stupid. Why can't management get it right? I don't care if they pay me to sit here and do nothing."
When the line gets up and running again, Sue whines that she was just getting comfortable,
"and there's only an hour and a half left in the day anyway."
Andy tells her that they need her back on the line because the customer is waiting for the order.
Tomorrow, he says, she will be able to go back to her own department and do her own job.
The next day, Sue arrives on Andy's line again. She starts whining right away.

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