July 11

How to Deal with Difficult Employees | The 3 Steps for Dealing with Difficult Employees



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How do you deal with difficult employees?

Hey, what's up, everyone? My name is Gabriel Klingman.

I'm the co-founder of Finding Leadership Within. Today, that is the question that we are going to

answer. If you've been in the workforce for any amount of time, it's a guarantee that you've

experienced employees who are nagging, who gossip, who complain, who won't listen and won't do

what's required for the job. If you've experienced this than you have experienced a difficult employee.

And so what is our natural reaction to this? We're often rude. We're rash. We're short with them. Or we

go into wanting to have extremes where we have a blow up at them or we try and avoid them at all

costs. And in this video, I'm going to show you an alternative. I'm going to show you a healthy

alternative. You no longer have to fall into this camp when we blow up or when we avoid our

employees or avoid these difficult situations what we're actually doing is reacting to internal stimuli

rather than the external.

So let me explain this before every action happens. There's a process that takes place in this. At least

half of this is subconscious. We're not even consciously aware that this is what's happening. But

when I dissect it, it'll make perfect sense. So you have first you have stimuli, whether that's internal or

external. It's something that triggers an event. It's whatever happens. In this case, it could be a

employee making a comment.

That could be nagging or complaining or gossiping. They make some sort of comment. The second

thing that happens is meaning is attributed to that stimuli. So as humans, we are always looking to

interpret whatever's happening around us. Our mind is always looking and looking at this thing. "What

does that mean?" And looking at this as "what does that mean?" Always 24/7. So when the stimuli

happens, our mind instantly tries to interpret it.

However, the problem with that is we often take shortcuts. Our mind will take shortcuts and interpret

external stimuli. With our past experience and internal stimuli, which I'll get to in a second. So once

something happens - a stimuli happens - then we've interpreted it. We've created meaning out of that

stimuli. Then comes emotion. We emotionally react to that meaning. Right. We're not reacting to the

stimulus, to whatever happened or reacting to the meaning that we've attributed to the stimulus.

So and then the final thing is action. We act out of that emotion. So let me. That's the whole process.

Let me explain what this looks like very practically. Someone makes a comment. Coworker.

Employee. They may have come and they start gossiping about someone. Instantly, that could lead to

you having a rash or rude or short reaction to it.

Right now, the reasoning is there. Let's break this down. Let's see what happened. They made a

comment. Now, what happened is you heard that comment. That was a stimulus. You heard that, and

then you created meaning out of that. You said, OK, if they're making this comment about this

employee, maybe you've had that same comment made about you in the past. It's very common. This

is a very common reaction. And so then your emotion is stirred and you're no longer reacting to the

fact that they made this comment about someone else.

You're reacting as if that was made about you. You're reacting to the internal stimuli. And then your

action comes as if this was made about you rather than made about the actual person it was. So

you're reacting to an internal stimuli as opposed to an external stimuli. Two of the most common

frustrating meanings attributed to stimuli are often disrespect or "I'm not enough". This feeling that a

feeling of being disrespected or feeling that you aren't enough. Personally, here's a good example for


For years I have never known how to react to gossip. Hence this video. I for years I managed

employees for years. I managed millennials. People who like to talk, who like the gossip food service

industry is made out of gossip. Right. And for years I didn't know how to handle that. Whenever

someone would gossip, my entire body would just cringe up. And I just felt horrible. And I could never

understand why it was so difficult for me to confront someone on that.

And like I could confront them on thousand other things all day long. Poor performance, attitude

doesn't matter. But when it comes to gossip, that was that was really difficult, really twisted for me. I

get all... And I realized after going through this process, I realized that it's because as a kid, I was

always told... "good boys, behave. Good boys, don't say bad things about other people. Good boys

don't talk about people behind their back."

And so for me, I wanted to be a good boy, right? I wanted to be good. This is probably my parents

trying to get me out of doing something stupid. Right. So they tell me this. And for years, this has

been ingrained in my mind. And so when I hear someone gossiping, what's going on is, oh, my God,

they're not being good. They're not being good people. Oh, my God.

What do I do? I don't know how to handle that situation. So what do we do about this? Well, I'm going

to give you three steps, three steps to help. The first is to be present. It's still in the moment when you

start to feel frustrated, when you start to feel whatever you're feeling. Take a breath and count

backwards from five. Go five, four, three, two, one.

Just that process. So simple, so quick. Resets your brain right when we're in the moment. Our brain

tends to just keep running on autopilot. We just keep going and going. So the second you start to feel


Your brain is like, oh, I felt this before and runs down that path. So when you take that second, you

breathe and you count backwards to five and you just focus on five, four, three, two, one. What you're

actually doing is disrupting that path. You're keeping your brain from running down this path and

saying, no, I'm not going to automatically react. I'm going to take a second. I'm going to recenter and

then re-evaluate where to go from here.

The second thing you can do is observe your feelings. There's two questions you want to ask and

then one observation to make. So the first question is, "what are the feelings that I'm feeling?" What

are the feelings that I'm feeling? Are there pictures associated with this? Are there words? Are there

sounds? What is it that I'm feeling? The second is you want to ask, "why am I feeling this way?" Is this

feeling familiar? Have I felt this way in the past?

In which situations have I felt this way? Does this feeling match the current situation I'm in? And the

observation you want to make at this point is to realize that your reaction, the way you're feeling, is

very likely due to some past situation. Answered in the why am I feeling this way? Because like I said

before, when your brain starts, it just goes on autopilot. Someone makes a comment. You derive

meaning from that comment.

You have an emotional reaction to that meaning. And your brain goes on autopilot. And so your brain

is like, "oh, I've felt this way before. Oh, I felt this way before when so-and-so did this to me..." And

bam, you're then reacting out of THAT situation instead of reacting out of the situation in front of you.

And this is why so many people overreact, especially when dealing with difficult employees. Lord

knows I have.

And so what you want to do is remember that your first reaction, your initial gut reaction is likely due

to previous stimuli likely due to a previous situation. The third thing you can do is put yourself in their

shoes, right. Validate their feelings without validating their actions. They're allowed to feel however it

is they're feeling right there, and the way that they feel is because of their OWN internal dialogue,

they're feeling that way because their mind decide to race on its own path.

You're stopping your mind from reacting. They haven't done that. So they're reacting not usually not

because of a situation right in front of them, but because of how they've been treated in the past. So

they are allowed to feel however they are feeling so validate their feelings without validating their

actions. This is some tricky wordplay in each situation is different. But remember that you can do

that. You can say, hey, I'm so sorry that you feel that way.

Oh, I understand that you feel that way. How you acted is inappropriate. But I understand your

feelings. Having that conversation is very helpful.

Now, a fourth freebie I'm going to throw in here is to redirect. This one is really simple. Sometimes in

the heat of the moment, you're just like, I can't react. This is way too much. I can't calm myself to

actually react appropriately to this situation. So I'm just going to completely redirect and say, oh, look

at that squirrel and we're just going to go on a different topic. Sometimes that's necessary. And that is

absolutely OK to sum up here.

I want to say that if you want to improve on how you deal with difficult employees, improve how you

deal with your own internal turmoil. Now, the first thing you can do is to start being aware of the

feelings that you're having. Be aware of what you're feeling and then why you're feeling it and know

that reaction is likely to. Feeling from the past. Thank you so much for watching. If this was helpful,

just let me know in the comments and let me know after you've tried this how this is helpful for you.


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