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Chapter 6. Identifying the Garden-Variet... > Formal Authority Tools - Pg. 59

Identifying the Garden-Variety Difficult Employee 59 From the Manager's Desk There is a basic rule in dealing with difficult people: Begin discussions with the most gentle and least forceful language and approach. You start off as a helper. Later, if it's clear that isn't going to work, you can increase the firmness of your response. See what you, the manager, have done? You start with a tentative observation (you can turn up the heat later if necessary). You explain that Herb's behavior is making things a bit difficult (note the calm language). Then you move into helping mode. Presumably, after Herb has responded, you can rephrase or use active listening to reinforce the idea of interest and assistance. The information and reactions you receive will help you decide where to go next. The reactions will provide a good hint as to whether you need to become firmer and more insistent. What other things are important in using your interpersonal skills to talk to difficult people? Here's a checklist of things to keep in mind. Avoid accusatory language. Talk about observable behaviors. · ·