Understanding Types of People
4. THE NEGATIVE
– Responds to any proposal with an explanation like “It won’t work”, “It’s no use trying”, or “We tried that last year”, “Forget it, they’ll never let us do it.”
– Dampen any suggestion regardless of merit, and never come up with an alternate solution or action plan.
Understanding The Behaviour
– Negatives truly feel disappointed and defeated, and their pessimistic comments can easily arouse anger in those around them.
– They are not by intention obstructionists to every scheme. They really do believe that the blocking forces are out of their, or any ordinary person’s control. The negatives they see are real and absolute barriers, rather than obstacles that one might go around, through, or over.
– They are convinced that they have little power over their own lives, or that they have almost no ability to influence things.
– They also believe that others in power don’t care or are self-serving, their negative statements are made with conviction. This leads them to believe that those who have power cannot be trusted, or cannot be counted upon to act reasonably and consistently.
Coping With Negatives
– Be alert to the potential, in yourself and in others in your group, for being dragged down into despair.
– Make optimistic but realistic statements about past successes in solving similar problems.
– Don’t try to argue Negative people out of their pessimism. They may not be wrong. Instead of confronting the Negative directly’, your strategy should be one of showing that some alternatives are worth trying, even if the Negative may be right that they’ won’t work.
– Don’t rush into proposing solution alternatives yourself until the problem has been thoroughly’ discussed. The more that an issue is specified, by asking what, where, why, and how questions, the more clearly it exists as a problem rather than simply as complaint. If you prematurely propose a possible way out of the problem, the Negative person will do well what he or she does best – explain why it won’t work.
– When an alternative solution is being seriously considered, quickly raise the question yourself of negative events (or the worst consequences if a likely plan were implemented). If you quickly ask for the worst scenario, you might happen to ease the mind of the negative person who cannot move because of the potential “disasters”.
– Be prepared to take appropriate action by yourself, even if it means going alone. This can jolt other members of the group into action.
– Beware of creating negative responses from highly analytical people by asking them to act before they feel ready.
5. THE KNOW-IT ALLS
– Those people want you to recognise that they know everything there is to know about anything worth knowing. They convey a belief in their own superiority that often leave others humiliated, imrnobilised and angry.
– Be aware that there are two types, those who do in fact – know-it-all, and those who don’t.
– The real know-it-all, are often highly productive, thorough, and accurate thinkers, who make competent, careful plans, and then carry them through, even when the obstacles are great.
– They exude power, authority, certainty and if they do know-it-all, leave others feeling inferior. They leave little room for any one else’s judgments, creativity, or resourceful¬ness.
– When things go wrong, they often see the fault lying in others.
– When questioned about their ideas or plans, they throw out a lot of detailed facts and logical arguments.
– For those who really don’t know-it-all, you recognise them as ‘instant experts’ based on acquiring a little knowledge, but falling short on detail. These people really believe that they know what they’re talking about.
Understanding The Behaviour
– Know-it-alls believe that they’ alone have the power to affect their own lives, and they tend to see the ideas and formulations of others as irrelevant to their own purposes.
– They cannot tolerate uncertainty and strive even harder to impose their own order on everything they can.
– They are secure in the possession of tightly held knowledge and resent attack on the accuracy of that knowledge. When their plans look like falling apart, their first line of defense is the ineptitude of others.
– They are used to having their own way, through praise if correct, and blame if they are incorrect. This means that they have developed a sense of their own ability to affect things by careful planning and follow-through which has been accompanied by a belief that if good or bad things happen, they, not fate or luck, are the cause.
– Those know-it-alls who don’t really’ know, have the same traits, but camouflage their non-knowledge by acting like the expert. They want to be seen to be in control, to be admired and respected, and are often only partially aware that they are speaking beyond their knowledge.
Coping With Know-It-Alls
– The central strategy in coping with these ‘Bulldozers’ is to get them to consider alternate views while carefully avoiding direct challenges to their expertise, lest they take your recommendations as personal attacks on them.
– Make sure you have done a thorough job of preparing yourself; carefully review all pertinent materials and check them for accuracy.
– Listen carefully and verify the main points of their proposals, thus avoiding the flood of words that may continue from them.
– Avoid making dogmatic statements that can be challenged.
– If you must disagree, be tentative but don’t “sit on the fence”. To act in this way, question firm]y to bring up issues or errors rather than make authoritative statements, and above all, do not confront this person.
– Be precise with words when putting your case.
– Present alternatives as a detour, but use facts and logic.
– Watch your own tendencies to counter by’ being an expert yourself. Listen to yourself, acknowledge their competence, and use time as a resource for thinking things over. You may need to let them be the expert and build the relationship from there.
– If you do have an ignorant know-it-all you will need to state the facts or alternate opinions as descriptively as possible, but provide the other person with a chance to save face.
– Cope with these types alone, whenever possible.
6. THE INDECISIVE
– They stall any major decision until it’s made for them and refuse to let go anything until its perfect – which sometimes means never.
– They simply cannot make up their own mind, and indicate a preference for you to make up their mind for them.
– They go out of their way to avoid being involved in the decision making process. They involve you in discussion but delay in telling you of their position.
Understanding Their Behaviour
– Mostly indecisive people are genuinely motivated to be helpful, but don’t like the potential of bringing disappointment or distress to someone in making an important decision, and these people don’t want to hurt anyone.
– They prefer to just go with the flow.
– They are people pleaser at their core.
– They solicit pretty much everyone’s opinion before figuring
out their own.
– To them, big decisions are mentally exhausting.
– They will agonize their decisions long after everyone has made theirs.
– Pro-con lists are their best friends.
– They are highly sensitive and reflective so they are terrified of making the wrong decisions.
– Even choosing where to go for dinner can be a chore.
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From Directive Communication International & American Institute of Business Psychology:
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– 18 years corporate training experience