Have you every thought, “If I did not have to deal with this difficult person life would run so much smoother!” Knowing whom we have to deal with is one of the first steps in developing a strong team. In his book Well-Intentioned Dragons, Marshall Shelley gives a list of difficult personalities that many leaders will encounter.
The Wet Blanket
This person has an attitude and approach to any endeavor that can be defined as extremely negative. Shelley says that the favorite motto of “The Wet Blanket” is “Nothing ventured, nothing lost!” This person can destroy the enthusiasm of even the most excited team member.
This individual uses his personal encounters with other people to fuel his personal agenda. The goal of the “Entrepreneur” is to present himself or herself as a friend. This will open the door for future gains for their business or enterprise. They really don’t care about the person. It is all about money and success!
The Captain Blusters of the world are always right! They speak with such zeal that calmness is simply an unknown characteristic trait for them. This person does not understand diplomacy. They go at any effort wide open like a freight train blowing their whistle the entire way down the track. It is best to simply get out of their way…at least that is what they think!
The Fickle Financier
This person uses money or the lack of money as a playing card. Decisions cannot be made without the power of money. Many ideas can’t even get off the ground because a person like this will often ask, “Now, how much is this going to cost?”
Does this really need any explanation? Maybe we do need to remind ourselves of what a “Busybody” is all about? A Busybody is someone that has his or her hand in everybody’s business. They are snoopy, nosy, and no one really likes them. There are plenty of them around.
These are people who refuse to take on issues face-to-face. They are the ones that wait until they are away from the target then they fire away. These are the kind that does most of their talking over the phone or in the break room or the parking lot. They do not have the courage to face their target.
This individual does not forget anything. They keep records on just about every meeting and conversation. This person will correct anyone on the team because after all, they can easily say, “That’s not what I wrote down!”
The Merchant of Muck
The Merchant of Muck loves a dirty story. In fact, the more junk you can tell this person the better they like talking with you. This individual loves to delve into the waste bend. “What dirty bit of gossip can I find today?” is the mission statement of the Merchant of Muck!
Legalistic personalities live by the law; their law! You cannot bend their rules and you cannot create new guidelines. This is the way it is and there are no exceptions.
If you know someone that falls into one of these categories you probably have found that they can be difficult to deal with. The challenge is not to lose your cool. Don’t allow these personality traits to destroy your vision and goals. Learning to deal with different and difficult personalities is a challenge for anyone in leadership; however, getting to know who is out there is the first step.