Dysfunctional Team

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tHe old softy

tHe scaRedy-cat
tHe “fluffy”

MR. sPock

tHe PeRfectionist
tHe MacHo Man

tHe wallfloweR

tHe Pollyanna

tHe egotist

tHe undeRdog

Paul Friedman

difficult
PeoPle
Revised edition
The Smart Choice®

How to deal witH

SkillPath Publications

SkillPath Handbook Series

i

Difficult People

How To Deal With

Revised Edition

Difficult People
by Paul Friedman

How To Deal With

SkillPath Publications, Inc. Mission, Kansas

©1989, 1994 by SkillPath Publications, Inc., 6900 Squibb Road, Mission, Kansas 66202. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without the written prior permission of SkillPath Publications, Inc.

Editor: Kelly Scanlon Cover and Book Design: Rod Hankins Cartoons: Charlie Podrebarac

Library of Congress Catalog Card Number: 95-71720 ISBN 1-878542-77-X

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Printed in the United States of America

Contents

Introduction ................................................................................. ix

1 What Makes People Difficult? ..............................1 Exercise 1: Identifying Your People Network ........................................... 2 Exercise 2: Identifying Difficult Behavior and Setting Goals ................ 4 Behavior ....................................9 2 Changing Difficult................................................................... 12 Exercise 3: Blaming Patterns Exercise 4: Analyzing the Problem.......................................................... 14 Exercise 5: Implementing Your Own Plan ............................................. 20 ................................................ 21 3 Preventing DifficultiesDifficulties................................... 38 Exercise 6: Strategies for Preventing

4 Being the Solution, Not the Problem .......39 Exercise 7: Identifying Your SAGs ........................................................... 49 Exercise 8: Overcoming SAGs .................................................................. 52 Modes of Talk ................................................ 53 5 DifficultCommunication Modes......................................................... 57 Exercise 9:

6 Encouraging Desirable Behavior ..................63 Exercise 10: Tracking Positives ................................................................ 66 Exercise 11: Messages of Praise ............................................................... 70 Exercise 12: Conditional Appreciation Messages................................... 73

7 Summing It Up ........................................................................ 75 Bibliography.........................................................................77

Introduction

M

anagement expert Peter Drucker once wryly remarked, “Working with people is difficult, but not impossible.” That’s also a basic thesis of this book. It’s certainly obvious that many people are difficult to deal with, but after reading this book, you won’t find them impossible. You’ll be empowered to understand behavior patterns better and establish good working relationships with even the most frustrating individuals. Best of all, the information the book provides is short on theory and long on practical interpersonal techniques you can put to work immediately. As new information is introduced, highlight, underline, or bracket ideas that you can use when dealing with the difficult people you encounter. Then apply those ideas directly and immediately to your interaction with the difficult people you deal with at work.

ix

To help you put the ideas in this book to use, exercises are inserted periodically. These exercises allow you to clearly think out strategies for dealing with the difficult people you know and to...
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