how to manage the 5 most challenging personalities in your workplace

Do you work with problematic people? Every company has them, but how should you manage them?


As an event planner, you have to deal with a variety of people…from clients to vendors to different types of people on your own team, which can make your job more difficult. So we’ve put together a list of the top 5 challenging personality types and the best way to respond to them, without pulling out your hair.

how to manage the 5 most challenging personalities in your workplace

1. NARCISSISTS (“I’m the most amazing person this place has ever seen!”)

A narcissist is one of the easiest personalities to spot, they are overly confident individuals, who require constant recognition and are extremely sensitive to any criticism which might burst their bubble. To manage these power hungry individuals, you need to focus on solutions, instead of the problem.  And you can do this by providing them with options that make them feel like they are in control.  Remember, narcissists see themselves as that “oh-so-special snowflake”…they thrive off attention and appreciation.

2. DRIFTERS (“Bleh, I’m going to leave this project and start something new.”)

Drifters have issues with deadlines and set work schedules, they often lose track of details and lack the perseverance to see a project through, although they are very creative. Managing these (sometimes very) disorganized individuals can be difficult as they don’t respond well to structure nor systems/processes.  To successfully manage them, you need to keep their work to short bursts with quick deadlines. Also, provide them with variety in their work, in order to keep them thriving, not complacent.

3. GOSSIPS (“OMG, did you hear about…”)

Gossipers in the workplace can destroy morale and create anxiety leading to a less productive environment. Rumors are created as these individuals feel they have no power in the organization, spreading gossip to feel important again as they have knowledge that others don’t. To handle gossipers, simply don’t participate.  You as the leader have to set an example and nip this bad behavior in the bud, IMMEDIATELY.  It’s so important to communicate with your team regularly by keeping them informed and being honest. You can do this effectively by having set team check-ins every week to keep everyone on the same vision and goals.

4. COMPLAINERS (“jeez, this thing really drives me absolutely, utterly CRAZY!!?!”)

The complainers constantly criticize co-workers but are unable to suggest solutions to improve the situation.  They often over-dramatize their problems and have a negative effect on the workplace. To deal with complainers, show interest, stay positive and upbeat, and often listening to them without reacting.  Most times, these types of people just simply want to be heard…not necessarily want you to solve their problems.  Always ask them, “do you want my advice or just want me to listen?”

5. PLEASERS (“yes, I’ll do it”)

 These individuals are thoughtful and helpful; they are unable to say ‘no’ to their colleague’s requests. They also don’t handle conflict well and fear rejection and disapproval. To manage pleasers, you have to regularly express that you value them through validation.  Make sure they are aware that you’re willing to help if they need it. But also, keep a close eye on these individuals, as they tend to hit burnout especially during busy season…remind them that self-care is a critical practice to being a GREAT events professional.

Ae you working with any different types of problematic people? Let us know in the comments below!

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