A Principal’s Reflections: Leading Difficult Personalities

Jeanne A. Curley

Though there are quite a few complicated facets when it comes to leadership, one that usually rises to the best is dealing with complicated personalities.  As the saying goes, it’s typically the 1% that presents you 99% of the challenges.  Some individuals might get offense to the earlier assertion.  Nevertheless, if you study it meticulously, it sends a impressive concept that most men and women possess a temperament that is open to facets we keep dear, this sort of as collaboration, communication, innovation, and other aspects essential for alter.  The actuality, while, is that some personalities characterize an entrenched frame of mind that is set.  Whilst this can be disheartening, we must try to remember that they are folks.  John Kenworthy offers an crucial reminder:

Yes, they occur in all styles and sizes, races, genders, and from all backgrounds, and they share two things in widespread: The initially essential factor they all have in prevalent is that they are all “people”.  We are working below with human beings.  And we know from neuroscience that human beings share extremely much much more in typical in what drives them and leads to these behaviors.  The next factor they have in popular is you.  If you are looking through or listening to this, then you have one or much more individuals in your lifestyle whom you locate challenging, and you want to know how to lead them or just deal with them.

Complicated personalities can signify energy vampires in which all your time, persistence, and means are sucked out making an attempt to deal with them.  The important is to individual the individuality from the human being as a way to unearth what the underlying challenge may possibly be.  Below are some strategies that can aid you deal with these worries constructively. 

Identify the lead to of the situation(s)

There is always a bring about or rationale for a problematic identity.  Whichever that may possibly be, exploring the root cause is important to proactively tackle the situation so that it does not even further influence the society of your college or district.  Try out using an empathetic lens, as complicated as this could be, to test to uncover the result in of the problem. 

Retain Your Great

When this is normally easier explained than finished, permitting the challenging individuality to get the most effective of you can have a domino influence that negatively impacts the relaxation of your workers.  Get started by keeping tranquil and keep away from acquiring defensive.  Listen as opposed to reacting as this process will choose time.  Planning for any discussion prior to speaking with a tough character is also an great apply.  If probable, do this in a personal setting face-to-experience.  In the celebration that the conference begins to veer out of control, table it for a different time.  

Leverage supports 

Right after determining the concern and getting a immediate discussion with the particular person who possesses a tricky personality, it is crucial to know when and how to leverage out there supports to ameliorate the circumstance.  Find out views from impartial colleagues, arrive at out to other leaders for advice, or investigate how other fields tackle these same problems.  Asking for support is a indication of energy, not weak spot.  In the finish, the straightforward process of leveraging supports can be the very best resource you have to resolve the situation. 

Realize when ample is plenty of 

Although the best course of motion is to deal with people today rather and with respect as a usually means to root out the challenging personality, the reality remains that this may possibly not function.  At this level, you may possibly will need to refer the situation to your respective manager or use the agreement for disciplinary needs.  As a principal, this was the worst section of my position, but in some occasions, it was unavoidable. 

Working with complicated personalities does not just drop on administrators.  All educators, at some issue, discover by themselves in a predicament where by problems with colleagues have to be settled as they represent a challenge to the total society.  The exact same assistance over can be leveraged so that the power vampires never be successful.  Though not simple or at ease, working with challenging personalities is all of our responsibility. 

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