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Chapter 3. What Makes Difficult People T... > You Don't Need to Be a Shrink - Pg. 28

What Makes Difficult People Tick ... and Tick ... 28 This Won't Work! It's easy to mistake a lack of social skills or communications skills for something that is intentionally hurtful or damaging. Be alert to the fact that some people just don't know how to act more appropriately. You have just told John that one or two aspects of his work performance need some improvement (heck, nobody is perfect, right?). You explain--gently--what could be improved, and tell John that you will help him in the improvement process. You think you've handled the situation really, really well. John becomes sullen and clams up in front of you. At the staff meeting held a week later, John, normally a productive team member, doesn't say a word and sits, looking bored (obviously inten- tionally). Later you also hear that John has made some comments about you to other employees. There's a lot of ways you could interpret this. John could be some psychotic nut case in development, waiting to explode. John could be just plain angry and out to get you (so it seems). Maybe John has trouble with authority figures because they remind him of his abusive father. Speculating in this way, however, is not going to help you deal with John's behavior. In fact, doing