September 15th, 2008
Each person behaves in a certain way because there is a payoff to that behaviour.
A child misbehaves in a grocery store because the payoff is that her mommy will buy her a candy bar to keep her quiet.
A co-worker deliberately does a poor job at work when delegated to so that he is never delegated to again.
A supervisor intimidates her employees because fear is a great way to maintain control over employees.
None of these behaviours make sense when you look at it black and white; but looking at the potential payoff help explains the behaviour of your difficult person
Ask yourself what the payoff is for your difficult person’s behaviour? Why do they do what they do? Why does it bother you so much? Is it the behaviour you have a problem with, or the person’s payoff?
Make sure that your response to the behaviour is the correct reponse. Are you reacting to the fact that the child is misbehaving or being rewarded for it? Are you upset that slackers continue to do nothing in the office, or are you upset that they get away with it?
Be sure to evaluate your own responses/reactions to difficult behavior and ensure your strategy will work for you – and not against you.