The Art of Change Skills for Life

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Dealing with People You Can’t Stand – The Whine-Up and the Pitch

June 4, 2008 Dealing with Difficult People 1

We all deal with people we can’t stand everyday, both at work and in families and relationships. In the book I co-authored and in my private practice I have coached people using many successful strategies for conflict resolution.

New approaches to converting difficult people situations into positive change and outcomes are always welcome. In that spirit, I am sharing below a successful approach that one of my readers shared with me. Enjoy!

Whining Rules

This is about a person nobody could stand, and what he did about ‘us’whiners.

A new director took over at an organization’s summer camp, after 7 years of terrific camp growth and success under the previous director. During the winter there had been griping and outright rebellion over some new personnel policies and practices the new guy wanted, and in most cases succeeded in putting in place. (He was a Tank that attacked our roles in our beloved camp.)

Call that “The Whine-Up.”

Now the pitch.

At the first full staff meeting at camp before the campers arrived, he announced firmly:

“If I find out any of you have been complaining to each other, I will fire you on the spot. However, if you come to me with your complaints, I will thank you.

Complaining to each other accomplishes nothing.
Complain to me, and we can improve things.”

Of course he was exaggerating in every way, but he did set a tone of care and interest that lasted. He went from being a person nobody could stand to being a person we would try to cooperate with.

(end)

Have any of you had similar experiences with difficult people at work? We’re open to sharing here at Dr. K’s Blog. Comment away.

Change is inevitable, but progress is not. YOU make the difference.

Be well,

Dr. Rick

Related posts:

1. The Art of Persuasion for Managers: A Good Thing

2. What To Do When A Co-Worker Sabotages Projects

 

One Response

  1. J.D. Meier says:

    I find something in them I respect, and make them my mentor.

    For the “blackhat critic,” I turn the tables and ask them what solution they had in mind.

    When all else fails, I “use the system to educate” (their peers or other external forces.)

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