tips for managing people who are hard to manage

Tips For Managing People Who Are Hard To Manage

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    Managing a team can be a rewarding and fulfilling experience, but it is not without its challenges. One of the most difficult aspects of team management is dealing with employees who are difficult to manage. These individuals may have unique personalities and strong opinions or resist guidance and supervision. In this blog post, we will explore tips and strategies for effectively managing people who are hard to manage, ensuring a more harmonious and productive working environment for all involved.

    Managing difficult personalities is a common challenge for many managers and leaders. Understanding difficult individuals' common traits and behaviour patterns is the first step towards effectively managing them. This article will explore some of the most common personality traits and behaviour patterns that can make individuals challenging to manage.

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    Understanding Difficult Personalities: Common Traits And Behaviour Patterns

    A lack of self-awareness is one of the most common personality traits of difficult individuals. This means that they may not realise the impact of their behaviour on others or may need help understanding how others perceive their behaviour. This can make it difficult for them to change their behaviour or take feedback constructively.

    Another common trait is a tendency towards negativity and cynicism. These individuals may be critical of others and tend to focus on the negative aspects of situations. This can lead to a lack of motivation and engagement in the workplace and a negative impact on team morale.

    In addition, difficult individuals may exhibit traits such as stubbornness and inflexibility. They may resist change and be unwilling to consider alternative perspectives or approaches. This can make it challenging to implement new initiatives or strategies.

    Furthermore, some difficult individuals may need better interpersonal skills, such as a lack of empathy or emotional intelligence. This can lead to a breakdown in communication and a lack of trust and rapport between team members.

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    Coaching And Feedback Techniques For Improving Performance And Behaviour

    Coaching and providing feedback are essential skills for managers and leaders when it comes to improving the performance and behaviour of their team members. This article will explore effective coaching and feedback techniques to help managers and leaders in this task.

    One of the most important aspects of coaching and feedback is ensuring it is timely, specific, and actionable. It is essential to provide feedback promptly so that the team member has an opportunity to correct their behaviour or improve their performance. Specific feedback is also important, as it provides clarity on what needs to be improved. Furthermore, feedback should be actionable, meaning that the team member should be able to act on it and change their behaviour or performance.

    Another important aspect of coaching and feedback is focusing on strengths and improvement opportunities. When providing feedback, it is important to recognise and acknowledge the strengths and positive contributions of the team member. This helps to build their confidence and motivation and provides a foundation for improvement. At the same time, it is important to identify areas with room for improvement and provide guidance and support in developing these skills.

    In addition, it is important to create a safe and supportive environment for coaching and feedback. This means that team members should feel comfortable expressing their concerns or asking for guidance without fear of criticism or retribution. It is important for managers and leaders to provide constructive feedback in a non-judgmental manner and to avoid blaming or shaming team members.

    Lastly, coaching and feedback should be an ongoing process. It is important to regularly check in with team members, provide feedback, and offer support and guidance as needed. This helps build a continuous improvement culture and ensures that team members can grow and develop in their roles.

    In conclusion, coaching and feedback are essential skills for managers and leaders when it comes to improving the performance and behaviour of their team members. By providing timely, specific, and actionable feedback, focusing on strengths and opportunities for improvement, creating a safe and supportive environment, and making coaching and feedback an ongoing process, managers and leaders can help their team members reach their full potential.

    Difficult individuals may exhibit disruptive or attention-seeking behaviour, such as interrupting meetings or dominating conversations. This can be particularly challenging for managers as it can disrupt team dynamics and negatively impact productivity.

    Understanding difficult individuals' common traits and behaviour patterns is crucial for effective management. By recognising these traits, managers can tailor their approach and communication strategies to better engage with these individuals and help them overcome their challenges. In the next article, we will explore some strategies for communicating with difficult individuals effectively and constructively.

    Communication Strategies For Managing Difficult Individuals

    Communication is key for managing difficult individuals, whether employees, customers, or partners. Difficult people can cause problems, stress, and conflict, especially in the workplace. So how can you communicate effectively with them and resolve issues peacefully? Here are some communication strategies for managing difficult individuals.

    Listen To Learn. 

    People who are difficult to deal with can sometimes voice valid issues or frustrations in a counterproductive manner. Actively listen to what they say and try to comprehend their point of view rather than dismissing them or becoming defensive. In addition to demonstrating empathy, you should ask questions and paraphrase what you hear. You can figure out the reason for their behaviour and respond to it positively if you do.

    Institute Accountability. 

    People that are difficult to deal with may engage in disruptive behaviour because they require well-defined goals, incentives, or outcomes for their conduct. In your capacity as a manager or leader, it is necessary for you to establish robust accountability measures that are fair and consistent. Communicating the standards, goals, and feedback systems for any individual project or assignment is important. Ensure that staff know they will be held responsible for their actions and how well they perform.

    Deliver Helpful Feedback. 

    It may be necessary to inform challenging individuals of how their actions impact others or offer suggestions for change. By providing them with constructive criticism, you may explain your worries and expectations and offer support and direction. Conversely, feedback should be given thoughtfully and respectfully, concentrating on particular behaviours and outcomes rather than on personal characteristics or judgements. Make use of positive language and stay away from criticism and pointing fingers.

    Cultivate Empathy And Compassion. 

    Those who are difficult to get along with may be dealing with personal or professional issues that cause them to behave badly. They might also have a distinctively different personality, set of values, or point of view from you. Instead of severely condemning the other person or taking their behaviour personally, try building empathy and compassion instead. Remember that they, like you, are human beings with their own feelings and requirements. Please make an effort to comprehend where they are coming from and the struggles that they are experiencing.

    Recognise Differences.

    Challenging people may communicate differently, have different tastes, or have different expectations than you do. They could come from various generations, backgrounds, or cultures, which could impact how they communicate. Instead of presuming that they are mistaken or irrational, you should try to recognise and respect the differences between you and them. Study how they communicate, and modify your approach to suit it. Look for places where you can both agree and find common ground.

    Use Open Body Language.

    Difficult people may interpret your body language as a sign of your attitude or intention. They may see you as unfriendly or uninterested in them if you exhibit closed or protective body language, such as crossing your arms, frowning, or avoiding eye contact. These are all examples of closed body language. This could further inflame the disagreement or drive a wedge between the two of you. Using open and pleasant body language when communicating with tough people, such as smiling, nodding, leaning forwards, and keeping eye contact, will help you communicate more effectively.

    Emphasise Your Relationship With The Person. 

    Difficult people may feel isolated, misunderstood, or unappreciated by others. They may also distrust or resent you for some reason. To overcome these barriers and communicate more effectively with them:

    1. Emphasise your relationship with the person.
    2. Show them that you care about them as a person and that you value your connection with them.
    3. Express appreciation for their work or contribution.
    4. Build rapport and trust by sharing something personal or finding common interests.

    These communication strategies can help you manage difficult individuals more effectively and resolve conflicts more peacefully. In addition, communicating with respect, empathy, and clarity can foster positive relationships with difficult people and create a more harmonious work environment.

    Which Opportunity Do You Have When Studying This At The University?

    In today's fast-paced business environment, managing difficult team members is essential for managers and leaders. Therefore, a special study program at a university that teaches students how to manage difficult team members effectively can give them a significant advantage in their future careers. Here are some reasons why learning about managing difficult team members in a university special study program is important:

    • Managing difficult team members is a common challenge many managers and leaders face. Therefore, having the skills to handle difficult individuals is a valuable asset in any workplace. Students can develop the knowledge and skills to handle challenging situations confidently and professionally by learning how to manage difficult team members in a special study program.
    • Secondly, managing difficult team members can help students develop their leadership skills. Effective leadership involves managing teams and understanding the unique challenges that arise when managing difficult individuals. By developing their leadership skills in a special study program, students can learn how to motivate and inspire their team members, build trust and rapport, and create a positive and productive work environment.
    • Thirdly, managing difficult team members can have a significant impact on the success of an organisation. A poorly managed, difficult team member can negatively impact morale, productivity, and the bottom line. Students can help organisations achieve their goals by effectively managing their teams and fostering a positive and productive work environment by learning how to manage difficult team members in a special study program.
    • A special study program in a university that teaches students how to manage difficult team members is an important investment in their future careers. By developing the skills to handle difficult situations confidently, students can become effective leaders, positively impact the success of their organisations, and create a positive and productive work environment.
    • Managing conflict and difficult conversations in the workplace is a skill every manager must master. Conflict is inevitable in any organisation and can have negative consequences if not handled properly. For example, it can affect employee morale, productivity, creativity, and safety. Therefore, managers should not avoid or delay addressing conflict but approach it confidently and empathetically.

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    Managing Conflict And Difficult Conversations In The Workplace.

    How can managers handle difficult conversations at work effectively? Here are some tips:

    • Only Put Off Having Tough Conversations In The Workplace Later. The more you wait, the greater the difficulty of the task. You risk becoming anxious and resentful, making the situation even more difficult.
    • Adjust Your Thinking. Instead of perceiving conflict as a threat or a problem, try looking at it as an opportunity to learn, grow, and enhance relationships with others. Instead of concentrating on the negative feelings that you are experiencing, shift your attention to the positive results that you want.
    • At Work, You Should Have Some Experience Having Unpleasant Conversations. Practice makes perfect; the more you do it, the more you feel at ease and assured in your abilities. You can sharpen your abilities by participating in role-playing activities, attending feedback sessions, or receiving coaching.
    • Get Everything Ready In Advance. Be sure you have a well-defined objective, a solid game plan, and a constructive mindset before beginning a challenging talk. You need to gather facts and evidence that are pertinent to your arguments. Prepare your comments in advance, considering the possible responses and objections that the other person may have.
    • Handle Your Emotions. Maintain your composure and calmness during the conversation. Try not to give in to your feelings or allow them to control you. Avoid pointing fingers, making accusations, or assaulting the other person. Try using "I" statements rather than "you" comments when expressing your sentiments and wants.
    • Show Some Compassion. Please try to see things from the other person's point of view and feel what they feel. Actively and respectfully listen to what is being said. Recognize and respond to their concerns and feelings. Please demonstrate that you are concerned about them and their position.
    • Consider Some Ideas Together. Invite the other person to work with you to come up with a solution that is acceptable to both of you rather than trying to force your idea or solution upon them. Ask open-ended enquiries, provide suggestions, and explore options. Strive towards a situation in which both sides can emerge victorious.
    • Conflict Resolution And Having Challenging Talks In The Workplace Are Not Simple Tasks, But They Are Essential And Can Be Rewarding. If you follow these guidelines, you can transform potentially destructive discourse into one that builds trust, respect, and collaboration among the people of your team.

    Ten Tips And Tricks About How To Manage Difficult People

    1. Believe In Yourself And Your Ability To Work Through The Challenges Of Managing Difficult People. Adopt a positive mindset and commit to solving problems with them1.
    2. Change How You Perceive Them And Try To Understand Their Perspective. They may have legitimate concerns, personal issues, or different communication styles influencing their behaviour.
    3. Listen To Them Actively And Show Empathy. Ask questions, paraphrase what you hear, and express your interest and care. You may discover the root cause of their behaviour and be able to address it constructively.
    4. Institute Accountability And Set Clear Expectations For Them. Communicate each task or project's goals, standards, and feedback mechanisms. Make sure they know they will be held accountable for their decisions and performance.
    5. Deliver Helpful Feedback And Offer Support And Guidance. Focus on specific behaviours and outcomes, not personal traits or judgments. Use positive language and avoid blame or criticism.
    6. Cultivate Empathy And Compassion For Them. Recognise they are human beings with feelings and needs, just like you. Try to understand where they are coming from and what they are going through.
    7. Recognise And Respect Their Differences. They may have different personalities, values, opinions, backgrounds, cultures, or generations that influence communication. Learn about their communication style and adapt yours accordingly. Find common ground and areas of agreement.
    8. Use Open And Positive Body Language When Communicating With Them. Smile, nod, lean forward, and maintain eye contact. Avoid closed or defensive body language, such as crossing your arms, frowning, or avoiding eye contact.
    9. Emphasise Your Relationship With Them And Show Them You Value Your Connection. Express appreciation for their work or contribution. Build rapport and trust by sharing something personal or finding common interests.
    10. Turn Mistakes Into Learning Opportunities And Avoid Perfectionism And Scope Creep. When something goes wrong, please don't blame them or yourself, but focus on improving the situation and preventing it from happening again. Be flexible and realistic about the project goals and scope.


    Managing people who are hard to manage can be a challenging aspect of leadership, but managers can successfully navigate these challenges by implementing effective strategies and maintaining a proactive approach. Key takeaways for managing difficult employees include:

    • Identifying the specific challenges they present
    • Fostering effective communication and active listening
    • Establishing clear boundaries and expectations
    • Offering support, encouragement, and opportunities for growth
    • Providing regular feedback and holding employees accountable
    • Considering external factors that may contribute to their behaviour
    • Employing effective conflict resolution strategies

    By incorporating these tips into their management style, managers can create a more harmonious and productive working environment for all team members, ensuring the success and growth of the organisation as a whole.

    Content Summary

    • Managing difficult individuals is a challenge in team management.
    • Difficult individuals may have unique personalities and strong opinions.
    • They may lack self-awareness and struggle with understanding the impact of their behavior on others.
    • Negativity and cynicism are common traits among difficult individuals.
    • Stubbornness and inflexibility can make it challenging to implement new initiatives.
    • Some difficult individuals may lack interpersonal skills like empathy and emotional intelligence.
    • Timely, specific, and actionable feedback is important for coaching and improving behavior.
    • Focus on strengths and improvement opportunities when providing feedback.
    • Create a safe and supportive environment for coaching and feedback.
    • Make coaching and feedback an ongoing process.
    • Difficult individuals may exhibit disruptive or attention-seeking behavior.
    • Tailor your approach and communication strategies to engage with difficult individuals effectively.
    • Listen actively and try to comprehend their point of view.
    • Institute accountability and set clear goals and feedback systems.
    • Deliver constructive feedback thoughtfully and respectfully.
    • Cultivate empathy and compassion for difficult individuals.
    • Recognize and respect differences in communication styles and backgrounds.
    • Use open body language to convey friendliness and interest.
    • Emphasize your relationship and show appreciation for their contributions.
    • Manage conflict and difficult conversations with confidence and empathy.
    • Address tough conversations promptly to prevent escalation.
    • View conflict as an opportunity for growth and relationship enhancement.
    • Practice having difficult conversations to improve your skills.
    • Prepare for challenging conversations with a clear objective and a constructive mindset.
    • Manage your emotions and express your sentiments and wants using "I" statements.
    • Show compassion and actively listen to the other person's concerns and feelings.
    • Seek solutions together and find common ground.
    • Believe in yourself and adopt a positive mindset when managing difficult people.
    • Change your perception and try to understand their perspective.
    • Cultivate empathy, listen actively, and show support and guidance.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Managing difficult employees requires understanding their common traits and behavior patterns. Tailor your approach, provide timely and specific feedback, focus on strengths and improvement opportunities, and create a safe and supportive environment for coaching and feedback.

    Difficult individuals may lack self-awareness, display negativity and cynicism, exhibit stubbornness and inflexibility, or have poor interpersonal skills like a lack of empathy or emotional intelligence.


    Ensure feedback is timely, specific, and actionable. Recognize strengths, offer guidance for improvement, create a safe space for communication, and make feedback an ongoing process.


    Address disruptive behavior by setting clear expectations, establishing accountability measures, and fostering open communication to redirect attention-seeking tendencies.


    Actively listen, ask questions, and paraphrase to understand their perspective. Practice empathy and compassion, recognize differences, use open body language, and emphasize your relationship with them.

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