[Lucrative Lookback] How to Work With Difficult People Who Make You Cringe

[Lucrative Lookback] How to Work With Difficult People Who Make You Cringe

We’ve all met our fair share of cringeworthy people - you know, the folks who never seem to know where the line is. Or, the ones who are blatantly hypocritical and don’t seem to know it. Or, the coworker you really wish would at least pretend not to be on their phone while they’re talking to you. Or…the list could go on for days! In this week’s Lucrative Lookback, we’ll consider how we can change our experience with these “difficult people” to preserve our sanity and create a work environment where we can do more than just survive. We may find that a little perspective goes a long way. What’s even better? We’ll explore how to work with these difficult personalities in 250 words, or less! Think about this… To date, we don’t have computers as sophisticated as the human brain. Each of your coworkers has potentially more computational power than any of the computers at your company! Perhaps you’re thinking, “Not my coworkers! Some of them just have difficult personalities. They could never be as sophisticated as a door knob, much less a computer!” Now, consider this quote by Albert Einstein: “Everyone is a genius. But if you judge a fish on its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.” People have unique Strengths that act as their filter for how they think, act, and feel. If everyone had exactly the same Strengths and thought exactly the same way, life would be pretty boring and new ideas would be rare at best. There’s power in diversity and seeing it...
When To Talk About It and When To Let It Go

When To Talk About It and When To Let It Go

Has an encounter ever bothered you, and you weren’t sure whether to talk about it with the person involved, or just let it go? How do you decide such a thing? Maybe you created a pros/cons list, maybe you sought advice from people you trust, or maybe you just did whatever felt best in the moment. For many of us, one or all of these strategies have failed, causing us to make a not so desirable situation worse. Talk about it, or let it go? I’ve been leading a lot of workshops lately and have received feedback after each session about the clients’ experience. Overall, the feedback has been great, until yesterday. I received feedback from one person that wasn’t necessarily negative, but it also wasn’t singing my praises. Man!!! I thought to myself, should I ask a little bit more about what was there for this person, perhaps what was missing to learn for next time? Or should I just let it go? (Not everyone is going to give us raving reviews, right?) Based on what I’ve been learning recently from the book, Difficult Conversations, I reexamined what might be my purpose for bringing it up and what also might be my reason for just letting it go. [Related Article: How to Talk to People Better] Here are three purposes that work: 1. Learning Their Story In other words, how can I explore the other person’s perspective about what happened in the workshop? What information do they have access to that I may have missed? What is their reasoning for their feedback? What past experiences have influenced their current...
Lucrative Lookback: 3 Ways You Can Actually Build Accountability at Work

Lucrative Lookback: 3 Ways You Can Actually Build Accountability at Work

We know a lack of accountability can cause poor customer service, create team dysfunction and become a huge issue for leadership. But, now that we’re aware, how can we do something about it? In this month’s Lucrative Lookback, we’ll revisit 3 simple things we can be mindful of to start creating accountability at work! When I stopped at the first summit on the mountainous journey to redesign my life, I reflected on how far I’d come. Though only a quarter of the way towards my 200lb weight loss, I wanted to examine my process and lessons learned. I realized that my past was dotted with many failed attempts at healthier living, but this time, my changes were finally starting to stick. It made me wonder, “What was the game-changer?” I immediately thought of my dietitian. Our bi-weekly sessions kept me honest with myself (and her) about the impact of my food and lifestyle choices. Simply put, I was accountable to someone other than myself for the changes I was trying to make. I realized I was onto something, so I immediately wanted to know more. Webster’s defines accountability as an obligation or willingness to accept responsibility; or, to account for one’s actions.  Let’s dig into that… •    Obligation or willingness – choice•    Accept responsibility – commitment•    Account for one’s actions – awareness Choice. Commitment. Awareness. The essence of accountability is simple: it starts with us and continues when we pass our choices, commitment and awareness to another. In doing so, we invite them to join us on our journey - proverbial passengers on our drive to a better existence....
How to Easily Manage Expectations for Better Work Relationships

How to Easily Manage Expectations for Better Work Relationships

Don’t you just hate it when someone does not live up to your expectations? I mean, you see them in such a bright light, knowing they’re highly competent and then they…well…let you down. If only they’d get stuff done the way you expect them to get it done! Dealing with violated expectations. How do you hold other people accountable for violated expectations, broken promises, and/or bad behavior? Well, that’s a course-worth of information! But, let me tell you about something that happened this morning with my team that got me thinking about setting people up for success so you decrease the likeliness of needing to hold them accountable in the first place. In the past, things have played out as I described earlier: I had an expectation that someone just do their job, and when they don’t meet my expectation of that, I feel let down and exasperated! That is, until I learned that sometimes what I expect of people is, unfortunately, only a conversation I’ve had with myself and not with them. How would our relationships and performance be different if the expectations we had of each other were made very clear? Like crystal clear? So, back to my team call. I began a group discussion about a change I thought could be made to a company document we use regularly. We use a project management software to keep ourselves organized, so what I might have done was, once everyone agreed upon the change, simply added it to the person’s list whose role it fell under. Tada! Request made, everything should be good to go. But, no. I...
How to Work With Difficult Personalities That Make You Cringe

How to Work With Difficult Personalities That Make You Cringe

Think about this… To date, we don’t have computers as sophisticated as the human brain. Each of your coworkers has potentially more computational power than any of the computers at your company! Perhaps you’re thinking, “Not my coworkers! Some of them just have difficult personalities. They could never be as sophisticated as a door knob, much less a computer!” Now, consider this quote by Albert Einstein:  “Everyone is a genius. But if you judge a fish on its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.” People have unique talents that act as their filter for how they think, act, and feel. If everyone had exactly the same talents and thought exactly the same way, life would be pretty boring and new ideas would be rare at best. There’s power in diversity and seeing it as an opportunity versus a barrier. Perhaps those slow, useless, dim coworkers aren’t so slow, useless or dim after all.  Often the problem is simple understanding. Instead of leveraging the distinct talents of individuals, our tendency is often to judge based on our own unique filter of talents. Tomorrow, when you sit at or log in to your staff meeting, project call, production meeting, etc.  consider how your team is showing up:  Who is competitive?  Who is impatient?  Who is deliberative in their thought process?  Who is best at communicating their points?  Who keeps the team focused?  Who includes everyone in the conversation?  Who commands the room when they speak? You might find you’re sitting with a team of rock stars full of untapped potential.  ______________________________________________________________________________________Ready...
6 Powerful Ways to Diagnose Why People Break Promises

6 Powerful Ways to Diagnose Why People Break Promises

Have you ever made a promise and broken it? Perhaps even worse, have you ever experienced the let down of someone not being accountable to their promise? Their word? There might be that person who is always agreeing to a deadline and then somehow always missing it. Like magic. Earlier this year, I broke a promise. I committed to engage in a business project for 1 year, and I backed out before the year was over. There was an impact on my business partner, so we explored what happened: Why did I break my promise? How could we make sense of what went wrong? In the Crucial Accountability model, there’s a whole framework for making sense of why someone breaks a promise. If a pattern develops, there can then be a Crucial Conversation about it.  When someone breaks a promise, ask: 1) Was there a lack of desire or motivation? Maybe the person really didn’t want to make the promise in the first place. 2) Was there a lack of ability to follow through on the promise? The skill required may have exceeded the person’s capacities. 3) Was someone keeping the person from wanting to get it done? There may be other people involved in the project not pulling their weight, or creating a demotivational environment. 4) Was someone actually keeping the person from getting it done? Perhaps there was a piece of the puzzle being held up by someone else. 5) Was something other than people frustrating the person from wanting to get it done, like red-tape? The processes this person needed to complete the task may have been ineffective...