Difficult, schmificult

Layoffs, downsizing, store and event company closings, and a shrinking labor market has made job searching more challenging than ever this year. In this competitive job market people need more than a good education and work experience, they need a coach. For this reason, the fields of Career Coaching, Executive Coaching and Life Coaching are hotter than ever. Career Coaching is not limited to entrepreneurs only. Companies, government agencies, and organizations are now incorporating career coaching into their employee development programs.

Every good Career Coach has a tool box that they use to help their clients discover their true value, personal strengths, personality style, learning style, motivational style, team fit, and personal goals. This “diagnostic” work is fundamental for a coach to have when developing a client’s Personal Marketing Plan.

What is a Career Coach?
A career coach is someone who has a passion for helping others understand and communicate their true value. Career Coaching is the act of partnering with people to help them transform their life and become more productive, effective and fulfilled in a very competitive playing field.

A career coach will help their clients identify their natural strengths, personality, behavior, motivations, goals, abilities and desires –this seems fundamental, but few people know. Coaching also means being an excellent listener and having a comprehensive toolkit that will help clients first identify their goals and then move toward them faster than one individual could do alone.

Coaches also offer creative viewpoints, guidance and motivation all along the way regardless of the time it takes. Many individuals prefer to have ongoing support from their coach until the client has met his/her goals. Career coaches deal with the good, the bad and the difficult.

But you’re funny, sometimes sarcastic, egotistical and very rarely snide, so some people think that working with you is difficult.

What, you, difficult ? Nothing could be further from the truth! You’re an amazing co-worker and a dream of a colleague. You don’t need a life coach .All you ask is that your office mates do exactly what you say, exactly when you say it. And, oh yes, don’t disturb you with silly demands to actually get some work done when you’re busy watching Youtube, updating facebook, or rocking the unused event space with Guitar Hero.

Despite your general wonderfulness,  I found countless links telling me how to deal with people like you — people that are, supposedly, “difficult.”




If I am to believe the charming, amusingly cartooned brochure that recently made its way into my pigeon hole , a three page brochure went on to explain that a seminar is all it will take to “never again fall victim to those who love to make life miserable for the rest of us.” By some I’ve never heard of life coach .

I suppose there is a benefit here for those subservient wimps whom we love to torture, but for difficult people like me and thee, the real benefit of these career coaches seminars is the opportunity to learn a bunch of brand new ways to be awful. For example, on page two of the seminar brochure we find six archetypes of agonizingly difficult workmates. ( try saying that 10 times fast with a canapé in your mouth )

First up are the “Know-It-Alls” who are “arrogant and usually have an opinion on every issue. When they’re wrong. They get defensive.” As a know-it-all yourself, you know this description is only half true. You do have an opinion on every issue, but you’re hardly arrogant. In fact, you’re totally understanding and sympathetic to the ignorant idiots too stupid to recognize your genius.

The Dictators bully and intimidate,” the brochure copy continues. “They’re constantly demanding and brutally critical.” Or, as we like to put it, “generous enough to share our precious insights with our less fortunate work-mates on how they could improve their pathetic personalities to become more pleasing to important people, like us.”

Other supposedly difficult people the seminar confronts are the “Yes People” and the “No People.” The Yes People agree with everything and the No People won’t agree to anything. This proves how grateful everyone should be to work with someone like you — a “Maybe Person.” Maybe you’ll get your work done and maybe you won’t. Maybe you’ll attend the meeting and maybe you want. It’s indecision like this that makes the job interesting, and if your co-workers don’t like it, maybe they should quit!

Another reason to delve into the details of the Dealing with Difficult People seminar is to know what kind of psychological judo may be aimed at disarming your charming behavior patterns. For example, the brochure promises that attendees will “learn how to recognize a person’s style of communication based on level of assertiveness and a tendency to focus on either people or tasks.”

Apparently, some of the difficult elite have actually made the fatal mistake of focusing, an unforgivable flaw that allows the easy-going to manipulate them into being – ugh – nicer. This certainly won’t happen to you, since you don’t focus on people or tasks or anything that isn’t presented in HD on channel 5. As for a “communication style,” I’m not even sure the difficult and the proud know what that means. If a few grunts were good enough for our ancestors who lived in caves, I don’t see why any more is expected from those of us who live in dark, windowless offices.

“Me eat old canapés  in staff meeting. Me blog and me twitter. Me happy now.” That’s our idea of a communication style, and anyone who doesn’t like it is going to need a lot more than a seminar to get us to change. And speaking of that dreaded seminar, attendees are also promised that they will “walk away with the tools you need to effectively listen to others, including how to tune into body language and other key methods of communication we often ignore.”

Now this does sound useful. If there are ways to be difficult that go beyond refusing to listen or cooperate or be a team player, we want to know it. As for tuning into our body language, go right ahead! When it comes to making our co-workers understand how much they revolt us, we want to make it as easy as possible.


~ by Jason Allan Scott on March 10, 2010.

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