Do Humans Seek and Create Meaning (Part 4)?
November 11, 2016 – 4:29 pm | No Comment

Article #918
It is through our perception and connection with all life that we can experience meaning and have a fulfilling life.

Read the full story »
Confidence Building

Articles to help you learn to build and keep genuine self confidence.


Articles that will help you motivate yourself and others.

Getting Organized

Articles that will help to organize and bring order to our chaotic lives.

Boosting Creativity

Articles and tips that will help you boost and improve your personal creativity.


Articles to help inspire you each and everyday.

Home » Behavior, Confidence Building, Featured, Happiness, Headline, Leadership, Problem Solving, Relationships

Dealing with Mediocre, Difficult & Brilliant People

Submitted by on April 17, 2013 – 11:00 pmNo Comment

different peopleimages

Author: Iyer Subramanian

Dealing with Mediocre, Difficult & Brilliant people

“Dealing with people is probably the biggest problem you face, especially if you are in business. Yes, and that is also true if you are a housewife, architect or engineer.” – Dale Carnegie.

Dealing with people at the workplace has always been difficult and to get them to work towards results has always been a daunting task for managers. But this is precisely what the managers have been hired for. Every organization has people at different levels and in unison with the other departments converts their sectional / departmental goals into organizational goals. The people who are hired / recruited / selected come from different backgrounds, caste, creed, culture with a mindset and belief of their own. Human beings are not machines and they need an entirely different software to deal with. In other words, human beings are imperfect and one should know how to deal with people who are imperfect. They are creatures of emotions and dealing with them requires enormous amounts of management skills and tons and tons of patience and perseverance. A particular word uttered by the HR might motivate or de-motivate depending upon the context in which it is being used. If an employee has decided not to really contribute anything significant on a given day, it is a challenge for the department of HR to make him understand and play the role for which he is being recruited. HR has to diagnose, administer and remove the choke up points or blocks which prevent an incumbent from discharging his functions to his optimum level. An HR Manager is a Person Manager and to be a successful HR, he/ she needs to passionately understand the entire gamut of people’s behavior patterns in their work place.

Thus, it is a challenge for the department of HR to maintain and get the best behavior patterns from all its employees and maintain / continue / upgrade / outlive the same consistently for years. Getting the best out of each and every employee is an acid test for any HR. If that is not easy it is not easy either to deal with people who are mediocre, difficult and brilliant people. Let us understand how to deal with these kinds of people in the work place.

Mediocre People

Every organization has a definite and distinct percentage of employees who can be termed as mediocre. They are extremely ordinary, average, second rate, middle of the road employees with a very minimal contribution coming out from them. The main job of a manager is to develop people and with that job in hand; he has to pull out some weeds, too.

How Mediocre People Affect the Workplace

  • Mediocre people affect the section / department’s productivity on all levels.
  • Mediocre people waste valuable time and energy of others by not being focused.
  • Ask yourself: Is this person wasting his time, other people’s time and the company’s time, money or resources?
  • A mediocre person can diminish energy, enthusiasm and initiative in the workplace causing harm in the in the section / department.
  • Poor communication in terms of oral and writing causes a lot of resentment amongst members.
  • Mediocre people are everywhere. It’s better to understand and learn to cope with them.

Understanding Mediocre People

  • Understand them and their limitations. Avoid conflicts and get the best out of them.
  • As a manager, it is extremely essential to identify certain traits in mediocre people and learn ways to manage them without being distracted from your organizational goals.
  • Knowing their limitations does not mean that he or she has nothing to contribute. Get them to contribute daily and regularly.
  • Assign him or her a job by knowing their strengths.
  • Let the channel of communication be open and make sure that the mediocre employee feels at ease communicating about the problems on the job. Help them to gain momentum.

How to Handle Mediocre People

  • Implement a system of constructive criticism so that the small problems can be addressed and corrected before they become major problems.
  • Give feedback to these employees so that their progress can be monitored and changes or improvements if any can be encouraged.
  • Respect can go a long way. Respect them as an employee of an organization.
  • Reprimand them, correct them. Use firing as a last resort. Separate the problem from the person.
  • Give positive feedback in public, but give reprimands in private.

Handle the mediocre people with a lot of care. Bring the best out of them. They are not liabilities but have their limitations. Help them, coach them, guide them to give their best which will set them to sail a new path.

Difficult People

These are the kinds of people with a wide range of personality types, including some who are inconsiderate, inane, incorrigible, inappeasable, intransigent, indecent …… or even downright sleazy. In fact, success sometimes depends on your ability to work well with all of the above.

How Difficult People Affect the Workplace

  • Difficult people constantly talk and never listen. They often fail to keep commitments.
  • Difficult people criticize anything that they did not create.
  • Difficult people compete with you for power, privilege and the spotlight; some go way too far in courting the boss’s positive opinion – to your diminishment.
  • Communication (especially when questions or problems arise) helps avoid the unrealistic expectations that can cause resentment.
  • Difficult people deplete energy, depleted energy dampens enthusiasm, dampened enthusiasm decreases personal performance, decreased personal productivity, diminishes organizational performance, diminished organizational performance destroys profits.

Understanding Difficult People

  • There are ten types of difficult people commonly found in the workplace: the Slave Driver, the Black Hole, the Minutiae Monster, the Busybody, the Recluse, the Bully, the Liar, the Outlaw, the Blamer-Complainer, and the Know-It-All.
  • Learning to work effectively with a difficult boss or coworker can improve productivity in the work-place. Just because a person is “difficult” doesn’t mean that he or she won’t have something to contribute.
  • The Slave Driver. Someone who makes unreasonable demands on your time, resources, and attention. Don’t feel you have to immediately take on whatever the Slave Driver hands you. Focus on what is most important.
  • The Black Hole. Someone who takes everything you can give and then asks for more. When dealing with the needy Black Hole, take the initiative, encourage moving ahead, bring him into the group, and build confidence.
  • The Minutiae Monster. Someone who is inefficient, unfocussed, and obsessed with details. Send the minutiae monster the message that doing something in a reasonable amount of time is as important as doing it right.
  • The Busybody. Someone who doesn’t respect personal and professional boundaries. Give the busybody productive activities that satisfy her need for interaction; assign her a research or reporting task to make efficient use of her natural curiosity.
  • Recluse. Someone who is isolated and does not communicate with coworkers. Tread lightly with the recluse, who may be shy or lack social skills; usually the recluse does more than his share of work.
  • The Bully. Someone who deliberately intimidates others. Divert a Bully’s energies elsewhere by giving him responsibility at which he can excel. Cordial interactions and increased confidence will soothe a bully, making him less severe.
  • The Liar. A person who deliberately breaks the rules and misleads you. If you suspect you are dealing with a Liar, don’t rely on your memory of incidents or statements; write everything down so that you have documentation when it is needed.
  • The Outlaw. Someone who doesn’t play by the rules unless they’re his own. The outlaw’s questioning of authority might not necessarily be a bad thing; if her aim is to improve the status quo, encourage creativity, not compliance.
  • The Blamer-Complainer. Someone who blames you and others for his mistakes. Acknowledge that mistakes are a fact of life, but reward problem solvers; doing so will encourage blamer-complainers to change. Use Blamer-Complainer’s critical eye to find holes in any documents or presentations that are being prepared.
  • The Know-It-All. Someone who claims to know everything about everything. Work with the know-it all’s strengths by assigning him the job of creating a database, for example, which would play into his desire to be information central.

How to Handle Difficult People

  • Engage difficult employees in conversation, create a written covenant, schedule and conduct regular feedback and monitoring sessions, celebrate the accomplishment of short-term goals, repeat process until long-term goals have been achieved.
  • Use firing as a last resort; use constructive confrontation to resolve-or even prevent-conflicts and build coalitions.
  • Sometimes there is no other option left but termination. Be as diplomatic as possible to avoid any further confrontation in your workplace.
  • Respect can go a long way. Sometimes a difficult employee is feeling disrespected, either by his coworkers or by his superiors, because of miscommunication.
  • If the difficult person you face in the workplace is a boss or superior, try working your problems out diplomatically before moving ahead with a formal grievance process. Make sure you use good judgment and do not act upon your emotions. Remain level-headed and strong.

No one deserves to live or work in fear of anyone….. Saying bye-bye is the best revenge.

Brilliant People

They are the category of employees who are considered to be luminous, radiant, dazzling, sparkling, gleaming, shining and bright. These are the kinds of people who are termed to be gifted / talented and take a great pride in their accomplishments. These employees need to be handled very carefully, tactfully and thoughtfully lest they might punch big holes in you.

How Brilliant People Affect the Workplace

  • Brilliant people being an inspired section of people affect your productivity at all levels. They believe that efficiency x effectiveness = results.
  • Brilliant people do not waste time but conserve time by focusing on the job from start to finish with minimum interruptions.
  • Brilliant people have lots of energy, enthusiasm, initiative, drive and inspiration causing departmental success. They identify with people who exhibit the same attributes, characteristics and traits.
  • The strength of brilliant people has often been communication. They are great communicators and portray a very positive body language.
  • The strength of brilliant people is their ability to think outside of the box. They don’t dwell on the problems, but come up with solutions.

Understanding Brilliant People

  • As a manager, it is important to understand what makes a brilliant person tick. It is further important to identify the key attributes of these brilliant people and to learn ways to manage them.
  • Learning to work effectively and efficiently with the brilliant boss or a coworker can be as difficult as or much more difficult than working with a difficult boss or a coworker as they have a distinct role to play in the form of results.
  • Brilliant people are go-getters. They possess technical skills, human skills and conceptual skills in right proportions. They believe in making decisions and are action oriented.
  • They believe in upgrading their skills, knowledge and attitude on a regular basis and apply what has been learned.
  • Being in the age of information era, they amass a wealth of information which makes them an expert in the relevant field.

How to Handle Brilliant People

  • Adequate care has to be taken to handle brilliant people working in an organization. Their demands in terms of power, prestige, status, designation, pay packet has to be taken care of.
  • The brilliance of the brilliant people has to be tapped, harnessed and put to optimum usage for the organization to flourish.
  • Give them an assignment which will test their professional competence and do not involve him or her in any routine / mundane matters.
  • Communicate clearly the roles which they have to play as an employee and set boundaries.
  • His or her roles / functions should ideally match with the organizational goals. The Manager has to handle at times the arrogance, high handedness of these employees very tactfully.

Handling people is not easy but at the same time it is not difficult. An HR apart from engaging himself in routine functions must master the skills of handling all kinds of people working in an organization before they get the designation of Manager – Human Resource.

My name is Iyer Subramanian, working with Bombay Chamber of Commerce and Industry. E Mail: Cell No. 9892523163.

Article Source:

About the Author

My name is Iyer Subramanian. My qualifications are as under: Bachelor of Arts, Diploma in Personnel Management and Industrial Relations, Diploma in Labor Laws & Labor Welfare, Diploma in HRM, Diploma in Training & Development.

I have around 25 years of experience in HR and write for Express Hospitality, Hospitalitybiz, Business Manager regularly on HR.

Leave a comment!

Add your comment below, or trackback from your own site. You can also subscribe to these comments via RSS.

Be nice. Keep it clean. Stay on topic. No spam.

You can use these tags:
<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

This is a Gravatar-enabled weblog. To get your own globally-recognized-avatar, please register at Gravatar.

Leave us a suggestion for articles you would like to see. We will do our best to suit your needs! Did this information help? I hope so. Change can be difficult sometimes. Like I always say in my workshops, It’s not always easy, but it’s worth it because you’re worth it! Donations fund Self Esteem Workshops for teens, supply books to schools for the continual support of character education across America, and are tax deductable. Thank you from Self Help Guides!