A Principal’s Reflections: Leading Difficult Personalities

Dorothy S. Bass


Whilst there are lots of challenging areas when it arrives to management, 1 that ordinarily rises to the top rated is dealing with hard personalities.  As the stating goes, it is generally the 1% that gives you 99% of the challenges.  Some individuals could just take offense to the previous assertion.  Nonetheless, if you read through it cautiously, it sends a potent concept that most people possess a temperament that is open up to areas we maintain pricey, such as collaboration, interaction, innovation, and other components essential for modify.  The truth, though, is that some personalities symbolize an entrenched attitude that is preset.  Although this can be discouraging, we should try to remember that they are individuals.  John Kenworthy delivers an important reminder:

Certainly, they arrive in all designs and measurements, races, genders, and from all backgrounds, and they share two factors in frequent: The first critical thing they all have in widespread is that they are all “people”.  We are working below with human beings.  And we know from neuroscience that human beings share extremely a great deal extra in popular in what drives them and brings about these behaviors.  The second point they have in popular is you.  If you’re reading or listening to this, then you have one or extra folks in your existence whom you discover difficult, and you want to know how to lead them or simply deal with them.

Complicated personalities can stand for strength vampires exactly where all your time, endurance, and methods are sucked out hoping to offer with them.  The important is to different the personality from the individual as a way to unearth what the fundamental trouble may well be.  Underneath are some ideas that can enable you deal with these issues constructively. 

Determine the lead to of the concern(s)

There is generally a induce or motive for a problematic temperament.  Whatsoever that could be, discovering the root lead to is important to proactively address the circumstance so that it does not further influence the culture of your college or district.  Consider employing an empathetic lens, as tricky as this may well be, to attempt to uncover the result in of the trouble. 

Retain Your Great

Whilst this is often less complicated stated than done, making it possible for the hard personality to get the best of you can have a domino outcome that negatively impacts the rest of your team.  Begin by staying serene and keep away from getting defensive.  Pay attention as opposed to reacting as this process will get time.  Planning for any conversation just before communicating with a hard personality is also an exceptional apply.  If attainable, do this in a non-public placing confront-to-facial area.  In the event that the conference begins to veer out of command, desk it for a different time.  

Leverage supports 

Soon after pinpointing the challenge and acquiring a direct conversation with the person who possesses a difficult personality, it is critical to know when and how to leverage out there supports to ameliorate the predicament.  Look for out views from impartial colleagues, attain out to other leaders for information, or investigate how other fields deal with these exact difficulties.  Asking for assist is a indication of energy, not weak spot.  In the finish, the easy job of leveraging supports can be the most effective instrument you have to resolve the challenge. 

Fully grasp when enough is plenty of 

Even though the very best program of action is to handle people relatively and with respect as a usually means to root out the tough personality, the truth stays that this could possibly not do the job.  At this place, you may well need to refer the challenge to your respective manager or use the agreement for disciplinary uses.  As a principal, this was the worst portion of my position, but in some circumstances, it was unavoidable. 

Dealing with difficult personalities does not just drop on administrators.  All educators, at some position, locate themselves in a situation where problems with colleagues have to be fixed as they characterize a problem to the all round lifestyle.  The similar guidance above can be leveraged so that the strength vampires really do not be successful.  Even though not effortless or snug, dealing with tricky personalities is all of our obligation. 


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