When HR professionals are tasked with training a difficult person they have to be very careful not trigger a chain reaction, said Eleanor Shakiba, communications skills trainer and author of the new book Difficult People Made Easy
She told HRM
that if someone is behaving in a way that is inappropriate, leaders need to be careful that they address it in private.
“You catch them during a break or you actually manoeuvre things so that you can talk to them individually,” she said. “But don’t do anything that is going to put them in the spotlight during the class.”
Shakiba acknowledged that sometimes it will be difficult because they are actually acting in a way where they want to be the centre of attention. However, it’s imperative to avoid shaming and blaming.
“You also need to not allow any behaviour to destress other participants. So you need to act as a moderator on the behaviour,” she said.
“You should not let other people be criticised or shamed in the training situation.”
The challenge here is that sometimes a difficult person will trigger a reaction in you and you really feel like getting involved in the conflict. But you need to be neutral and to step outside of that, she added.