Getting Through: Dealing with ‘difficult personalities’ in the workplace

Saint-Lambert, Quebec — Day two of CCIF presentations kicked off on Oct. 8 as Kathryn Peterson discussed different types of personality traits that can sometimes be difficult to manage in the workplace.

Peterson works for Groupe Laporte, a company that provides consulting and coaching at workplaces for employees and management. She is VP of communications and human strategy, and an expert in improving interpersonal relationships at work, effective communication strategies and presentation coaching.

The presentation showed certain characteristics to watch out for as a possible point of conflict. Peterson delved into detail regarding the thoughts and beliefs of these personalities and introduced the ‘OSER model’–which stands for observation, strategy, execution and results–for managing different and sometimes difficult personalities in the workroom.

The first personality outlined by Peterson was narcissism, which is present in the type of person that can be excessively self-centred, put their own needs above others and lack of empathy and listening skills. For dealing with this kind of personality, Peterson said the key to getting through is to first show the employee acknowledgement and value their qualities. Do not confront or reject their feelings or thoughts, and do not expect empathy.

Peterson also said A-type personalities can introduce challenges, as these types of employees often feel that they must always be in control, have a high sense of competition and are sometimes considered ‘workaholics’. For this type of personality, those interacting with the A-type personality should remain reliable and precise, advise the A-type personality of any delay so they can be in control of the situation.

Peterson also says it’s important to show this person that you are just as results-oriented as them.

The other types of personality traits showed in the presentation were, obsessive-compulsive, paranoia, passive-aggressive and anxiety.

“There are good parts to all these personalities, however, the problem lies in the intensity,” said Peterson, as she wrapped up her presentation on day two of CCIF Virtual event.

Virtual CCIF attendees can watch a recording of Peterson’s presentation by accessing the virtual platform here.

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