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Chapter 5. Keeping Your Feet on the Grou... > Avoid the Lowest Common Denominator - Pg. 48

Keeping Your Feet on the Ground with Difficult People 48 You:"OK, why don't you and I see what's going on here and see whether we can find out about the listening part? Let's talk about the possibility of your going to only some of the meetings. Does that make sense? In this example, you, as the manager, are staying on balance, not reacting emotionally, and trying to find out what is going on and opening the door to working with the person to find solutions. Notice: no blaming, no accusations. Avoid the Lowest Common Denominator People behave in difficult ways seem to succeed and feel rewarded when they can influence other people to act as badly as they do. Part of that is the "I-want-to-get-a- reaction" thing, and part is the need to control other people. When other people behave toward the difficult person in kind (poorly), it has very strong negative effects. It legitimizes poor behavior in the workplace, almost helping the difficult person justify his or her behavior. As a manager, you have an even higher standard of conduct you must adhere to. Employees look to you to show them, through word and deed, what is appropriate behavior. If you drop down to the lower levels of behavior, the lowest common denominator, you tell everyone that's an OK approach. This Won't Work!