How to Handle 5 Difficult Personality Types

June 9, 2016

Ever have to negotiate against another real estate agent who you really can’t stand? Or maybe one of your co-workers or clients is driving you crazy? Rick Brinkman and Rick Kirschner, authors of “Dealing With People You Can’t Stand,” share how you can deal with people who irritate you.

Here’s some of their advice for softening different tempers you may encounter in the workplace:

The tank: They are pushy, controlling, and loud. They are focused on getting things done quickly. When encountering “tanks,” be sure to get to the point quickly and don’t waste their time.

Snipers: They are covert. They may expose a weakness of yours behind your back or maybe even in front of others. If you come across a sniper, call them out on it, Brinkman and Kirschner suggest. They’ll be forced to uncomfortably explain themselves.

Know-it-alls: There is nothing they don’t know, right? They love to talk. They dismiss your ideas because, well, they know it all. When dealing with know it alls, flatter them by asking questions – lots and lots of them. Your specific questions may eventually make them realize they don’t know it all.

‘Yes’ people: They are eager to please everyone, but they rarely follow through. Yes-people seek approval. Get them to write down their commitments. Set clear deadlines. Point out negative consequences if they don’t meet the deadline.

Negative people: They are impossible to please. They see the negative in everything. To deal with a negative personality type, start agreeing with them. In fact, be even more negative than them. They may be forced to finally see the positive in order to remain contrary, Brinkman and Kirschner note.

Source: “The 13 Most Frustrating Coworker Types and How to Deal With Them,” Forbes.com (2016)