Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Civility in the Workplace Part 4

What may be considered a difficult personality?

The answer is subjective.  A difficult personality for one person need not be a difficult personality for another. Usually, though, people perceived as difficult are those who manifest inflexible extremes of personality traits.  For instance, while being controlling is a desirable trait in a manager, being excessively controlling would just make the people under the manager’s care feel stifled and even abused.  Recognition of the need to consult co-workers about major company decisions is a good thing, but when an employee consults everyone else on almost everything to the point that the constant “consultation” is already dependency in disguise, then the person becomes difficult to work with.

When working with a difficult personality, most people’s immediate response is an unhelpful one: a response aimed more at relieving personal stress than creating a more workable relationship.  For example, there is a tendency to avoid dominant personality types, lecture the overly-dependent, and exact vengeance on the passive-aggressive.  The result is an endless cycle of dysfunctional relating that creates more problems than it solves.

Until next time...


Sheryl Tuchman, SPHR, SHRM-SCP

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