HERDING CATTLE
( O R D E A L I N G W I T H D I F F I C U LT
E M P L OY E E S )
Dana Thorp Patterson
Asst. Executive Director
Ozarks Technical Community College
TODAY’S AGENDA
Motivation
Common Denominators
Defining difficult people/behaviors
Personality, Growth Plan, Action Plans
MOTIVATION
Basic Needs (Dr. Abraham Maslow)
Physiological
Safety & Security
Social Needs
Esteem or Ego Needs
Self Actualization
KNOWING YOUR STAFF
 Money is a bookend motivator – it gets them into the job and keeps them
from leaving, but what else motivates your group?
 Intrinsic v Extrinsic motivation
 What do you know about your employees?
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Entertainment
Family
Preference for work – breaks, vacation
Leisure activities
What else?
 What motivates your team?
RELATIONSHIPS
Everyone interacts with the strong personalities
How you DEAL with it depends upon your role
As a peer, you are responsible for three things:
• Being professional in behavior
• Being respectful in spite of problems or differences
• Knowing when to bring a supervisor into the
situation
SUPERVISOR/LEADER
• Supervisors have more responsibility:
• Hiring
• Coaching
• Termination
• Intervention between staff
• Cognizant of problems and actively engaged in
remedying the issues
• To act appropriately, professionally and…
• And always respectfully
THE BIG FIVE
BIG 5:
• Personality: who are these people?
• Temperament: what is their style, behavior, mood?
• Heart: what do they love and care about?
• Relationship: is there a bond – between the person and
their job, their peers?
• Dream: what do they want – out of their career,
perhaps out of life?
HERDING DIRECTIONS
 Functions:
 Riding the herd and calling directions
 Getting the right cowboy/girl to take care of the
cattle (delegate)
 Develop a trail plan
 In order to be effective, you must know the
cattle, the cowboys/girls on your trail, and the
route.
When we cannot effectively evaluate situations and people, we will lose. John Maxwell
CATTLE TRAIL – THE PLAN
Delegate according to their strength
Coach according to their weakness
Mentor according to their potential
Relate according to their personality & temperament
Lead according to their dreams
What’s the common thread?
STARTING OUT
CONSIDER: Who is the person and what does
s/he need
COMMUNICATE: How will you meet that need
CONNECT: Meet that need BEFORE asking for
anything
COMMIT: Yourself to them and them to you –
ONLY after the first three steps.
BEFORE SADDLING UP
Is there potential?
Will they change?
Will they follow?
Each of these MUST equal the energy expended.
WHAT HAPPENS IF….
If there is a NO to any of the preceding questions,
reduce your time and energy.
The more difficult a personality, the more
RESOUNDING YES must be given to all the
questions.
If they express desire and commitment to improve–
dive in.
If no – then back off. Look at other options.
HANDLING PERSONALITIES
Understanding the personality
Assessing the whole issue
Define your needs from theirs
CAN they actually improve?
Do they WANT to improve?
PERSONALITY TYPES
Analytical-facts and details; money/numbers;
independent; neat/organized; on time; no risks
Driver-to the pt.; busy; immediate results; risks; multiple
choices; power; independently; positive
Amiable-social; likeable; traditional; no risks; needs support;
careful decisions; somewhat wishy/washy; less time-oriented
Expressive-dreamer; uses hunches; social; quick decisions;
planner; risks; generalizes; less time oriented
HANDLING PERSONALITY
Analytical –let them know they are right; give them facts;
stress logic; observe time constraints; compliments; quick
precise answers
Amiable – be friendly; build rapport; don’t rush; allow time
for conversation; stress emotional benefits; reassure; give
them positive choice; help them decide
H A N D L I N G E AC H
PERSONALITY
Driver – dress professionally; get to the point; don’t waste
time; stress quick results; ask questions to force attention;
put it in writing; let them take charge at times; summarize
key benefits before closing; use 2-3 options
Expressive – present big picture; use emotional benefits;
show them proof (testimonials, articles, etc); recognize their
importance; details in writing and explain;
SPECIFICS
Fearful
Perfectionist
Sad/Depressed
Critical
Excited
Grandstanding
Disorganized
FEARFUL PERSON
A “Fearful Fred” –
Behavior: a lack of confidence causes them to do
nothing
Strength is that he is devoted and loyal
Problem is that he is a low producer
Needs a Dale Carnegie course in self confidence
G ROW T H P L A N - F E A R F U L P E R S O N
Privately, sit down and discuss Fred’s fears
Identify the fears and reasons why he has them
90% of all fears are a result of a previously bad
experience
Evaluate his desire to overcome his fears
If desire is high – develop a game plan
If desire is low – other options – reassign?
ACTION PLAN -FEARFUL
Plan a project together -provides support and
security
Structure the project
Do a simpler project first – safety
Do the project together
Do a winnable project – build in success
DEPRESSED PERSONALITY
A Sad Sally - Behavior Depressed
Strengths – CAN do the work, under the right
circumstances
Problem is negative attitude – materials on
winning attitude
Motivated by coaching and reassurance
G ROW T H P L A N - D E P R E S S E D
PERSONALITY
Privately sit down and discuss the slump
Listen to her background –
Let her talk about the good old days
List what she did effectively when things went well
List what she did when things went poorly - contrast!
If she desires to change, develop a game plan
AC T I O N P L A N - D E P R E S S E D
PERSONALITY
Remove her from others while she is in a slump –
Downer Debbie!
Reprioritize the workload
Remain with this person as much as possible
Require her to do what is right, not what she
wants to do
Remember to encourage her when possible!
EXCITED PERSONALITY
Starts fast but seldom finishes
High enthusiasm – he’s excited! Provides energy!
Motivated by new challenges – loves them!
Strength is starting strong – even before the
meeting is over
Problem is that he seldom finishes
GROWTH PLAN -EXCITED
PERSONALITY
Needs a mentor that finishes well
Listen and discuss the excitement
Listen to exciting start up stories
Ask for the ‘rest of the story’ – outcomes
Let him see what he has lost
Take into account exaggeration
Does he want to finish well(desire to change!)
ACTION PLAN EXCITED
PERSONALITY
Assign a new challenge
Keep him focused
Reward him for finishing well – on the other side
of the finish line!
Assign a good detail person to work with him.
His greatest need is ongoing training – to change
a life, keep putting materials in their hands!
D I S O RG A N I Z E D P E R S O N A L I T Y
Like a rocking horse, always in motion but never
advancing
Unfocused behavior
Motivated by direction
Strengths are relational – very social usually
Problem area is lack of result
Provide her with organizational items: files, calendars,
etc
GROWTH PLAN DISORGANIZED PERSONALITY
 Discuss the disorganization
 Listen to her frustrations - she spins her wheels
 Look at her mess – visually
 Determine if she wants to get organized (desire?)
AC T I O N P L A N - D I S O RG A N I Z E D
PERSONALITY
Needs personal attention
Ask her to photocopy her daily schedule
Help her list her priorities
Teach her time management of the priority list
Monitor her progress
Leave no room for options and uncertainty
PERFECTIONIST PERSONALITY
Perfectionist Pete - Behavior is rigid
Motivated by control
Strength is knowledgeable
Problem is that they personalize failure
G ROW T H P L A N - P E R F E C T I O N I S T S
Discuss the perfectionism
Give them time
• They are usually poor at expressing emotion
• Don’t interrupt them at any time
• The moment you interrupt, they go back to the first
step again!
Encourage them to be more tolerant with self and
others – perfectionists are highly critical
AC T I O N P L A N - P E R F E C T I O N I S T S
Provide confidence and reassurance
Encourage to not take mistakes personally
Encourage to take more risks
Reward for getting things done on time even if
not perfect
Show him the BIG picture!
Let them be planners – work on projects – plenty
of time
CRITICAL PERSONALITY
Critical Connie - Voices criticism to whomever
will listen
Negative behavior
Motivated by listeners
Strengths – normally there is SOME truth in the
criticism
Problem is that they will undermine anything and
everything
G ROW T H P L A N F O R C R I T I C A L
PERSONALITY
Give them materials on being a people person
Listen and discuss the issues
Give accurate examples of Connie’s criticisms
• She will deny a lot of these, SO
Ask for an explanation of those examples
Give her a proper avenue to criticize
ACTION PLAN -CRITICAL
PERSONALITY
Ask people affected to meet with you and Connie
Ask them to tell their story of what happened
Ask Connie for an explanation
Give them ALL a proper avenue to criticize
What happens if Critical Connie doesn’t change?
This is the most destructive person on your team.
GRANDSTAND PERSONALITY
Grandstanding George - Wants to be in front and
get all the credit
Behavior is aggressive, boastful
Motivated to be Number One
Strength is self sufficient
Problem is that he is demanding
Problems is that he won’t help build the team
Needs to be in a teambuilding program.
G ROW T H P RO G R A M G R A N D S TA N D E R S
Discuss the grandstanding behavior
Point out the damage that he causes to team
Ask him who he respects that he will listen to
There has to be an audience in grandstanders life
in order for him to do his routine
 Remember that YOU can recognize the ones or the team that is
deserving!
AC T I O N P L A N - G R A N D S TA N D E R
Lead from strength and power or he’ll never respect you.
Bring in a person he respects to help you
Reward him for team play
Know which issues are worth the battle
Once the issues are settled, never give in
Problem placement – if he can become a servant,
he can be good up front – but ONLY after he
demonstrates team playing.
OBSERVATIONS
They aren’t so difficult once you face them
Most of the time you’ll succeed
They will be some of your best producers
A little individual attention goes a long way
Respect is key to difficult relationships
Egos cause more trouble than the issues
Difficult and different are often the same
Respecting, caring about and loving people covers a
multitude of problems
LESS OBVIOUS VARMINTS
 What are some of the types you’ve run into?
 Skunks – stinkers
 Porcupine – stickers (stab you in the back?)
 Wolves – howlers and whiners
 Hyenas – laughing – at inappropriate times?
 Oxen- stubborn
 Jackasses – self explanatory
YOUR EXPERIENCES
Passive
Anger
Aggressive
Stubborn – Defiant
Passive Aggressive
Insubordination
Pathological Liars
Others?
PEER TO PEER (1)
You should handle some of your work relationships
independently
Exercise good judgment: when can you intercede on your
own behalf/ when you need to report – (harassment,
discrimination, hostility, threats -implied or direct)
Handle – miscommunication, first time disagreements,
specific issues on a project
Be mature; State your issue clearly; Request that you be
heard before you discuss
PEER TO PEER(2)
Listen well; Agree to future behavior; Send a
follow up email, thanking them for their time the
gist of the conversation (this becomes some
documentation for you)
Report further issues to supervisor
WHEN YOUR BOSS IS THE
PROBLEM (1)
Sometimes you can address these. Other times you must
simply decide if the job fit is for you
Ask for a time to discuss the issue: Use I statements –
Send an email afterwards
WHEN YOUR BOSS IS THE
PROBLEM (2)
• If there is a hint of hostility, discrimination, threat,
inappropriate language –
document and report to your HR office.
• If you witness this happening to someone else, report it
to HR.
SUPERVISORS/LEADERS
Your responsibilities are greater!
Should know what’s going on in your office/department
Know the personality types in your office
Be cognizant of your OWN personality!
PREVENTION & CURE
Hiring the right people –
• Know the job you need to hire for
• Ask the right questions
• Check references
• Outline clear expectations on behavior,
participation, specific projects
• Let them know in interview what process you
use to assess work performance
PREVENTION & CURE
Training New employees
• if they don’t come with needed skill set, be sure to
get them proper training
Probationary Periods
• use them and use them correctly
Annual Reviews
• should not just be annual reviews -ongoing
Coaching appropriately- HR Overview
PREVENTION & CURE
Existing Positions
Promotions
• just because someone does one job well does not
a supervisor make. Provide training for
supervising; mentoring; professional development
A note to staff: Train for the promotion you want
before you apply
 Professional Development
• ongoing – demand it of your staff
CURE
When you DO have the problem
Start with the discussion part of our presentation
today to ascertain the issues
Begin coaching process: verbal, written, written,
termination
Create an action plan – the employee must have
buy in
Monitor Progress – if there isn’t any, well…..
FINAL STEPS
Report, Take Action, Document situations that aren’t
easily remedied: harassment, discrimination, threats
When you begin the coaching process, follow your own
institutions’ policies of documentation,
witnesses, contract issues
TERMINATIONS
A necessary step at times
When the individual causes distress, turmoil, problems
No desire to change – or no steps of progress
Be kind, caring – but ‘free them up to explore other
opportunities!’
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS
What happens if you take a new position and are directed
to remedy the issues – and the issues are personalities as just
described?
How do you debrief with other staff without divulging
confidential information?
How do you begin the healing process after someone has
been terminated?
QUESTIONS??
 Let’s discuss and share your experiences.
THANK YOU
For your time and energy today!
Reach me at:
[email protected] or by phone at (417) 447-8888
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Herding Cattle (or Dealing with Difficult Employees)