This Article is About
team building
effective communication skills
leadership development training
attitude and motivation
workplace atmosphere
emotional manipulation
negative emotion
negative attitude
relationship skills
selfish act
building relationships
Team Building Tip For Dealing With Difficult People
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No one succeeds alone. Success always takes a team.

Building relationships is a necessary step on the road to success.

Putting together a team is a form of creating strategic alliances.

And it inevitably leads to the challenge of dealing with “difficult people”.

It therefore demands that we develop the relationship skills to handle that challenge.

Let’s define a “difficult person” as someone who defies your efforts to gain cooperation.

This includes the personality of someone who seems difficult to please.

Perhaps the most difficult person of all is one who employs negative emotional manipulation tactics to gain control.

An example of this might be sighing to express martyrdom.

There are more positive, effective communication skills that one can use to invitie people to help you then expressing yourself as a victim.

Negative emotional manipulation tactics exert a destructive influence upon the moral and performance of the individual on the receiving end.

And this, in turn, erodes the morale and performance of the entire work team.

Without necessarily realizing it, the manipulator – or “difficult person” - functions as a non-team player, because using negative emotion to manipulate is an inherently selfish act.

It is selfish because it is focused on satisfying the manipulator’s self-interest without taking into account the negative toll that takes on those who are exposed to it.

When a person in a leadership position displays this pattern, the destructive influence can eat through the entire workforce like a cancer.

A core aspect of leadership development training involves understanding how to inspire honest, ethical conduct through modeling.

But whether it is a team leader or any other team member who spews a negative attitude into the workplace atmosphere, it psychologically poisons the attitude and motivation of the workplace atmosphere.

It is therefore what can be described as a self-defeating success strategy. In other words, you defeat yourself when YOU use negative emotion to manipulate.

Positive team players will instinctively, if not deliberately, seek to avoid the non-team player, recognizing the loss of energy that follows from any exchange with them.

This isolates the difficult individual, thereby diminishing the help and support she can count on.

Beyond this, the manipulator subconsciously programs himself to believe in the unfair and overpowering entrapment of his situation.

For example, when, to get his way, he complains (a passive-aggressive communication style) with annoyance, he plunges himself into believing in his helpless dependency.

If you are not careful during your exchange with a person seeks to gain the upper hand by taking a low-road approach, not only may you fall prey to it, but some of that person’s negativity will soak into, and degrade, your own attitude and mindset.

This is because emotions, moods, attitudes, communication patterns and even thought-patterns are contagious.

Spend time with a high-powered motivational speaker and you will find yourself communicating in a more positive, motivational way.

Spend time with someone who sulks, complains and grumbles and you will begin to look and act like Eeyore.

There are many non-verbal ways of attempting to manipulate people with negative emotion, like rolling the eyes, mumbling grumblings, clicking the tongue, shaking the head, or grunting sarcastic agreement.

These emotionally underhanded efforts to control are fairly universal, are they not.?

We all sometimes fall into the pattern of difficult people.

So here is your team building tip: By practicing being more alertly aware in the present moment of what you are sending out, and what you are taking in, during your exchanges with others, you can gradually minimize your acceptance and expression of negative, covert manipulating.


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