Managing Annoying People

Managers face difficult tasks every day. Many of those tasks are related to managing people.  I just finished reading a great post on leading those who annoy you by Steve Riege.  It’s an excellent discussion of the personal challenges leaders face.  So what do we mean by annoy you?

Yes…Yes, those people who don’t do it right.  Those people who always have stupid questions, those people who are lazy, those people who have no drive to achieve, those people who, who…

I know when I read that quote, I could immediately relate to the definition of annoying.

I agree with Steve, that as leaders (I prefer the term managers), we need to overcome our dislike or annoyance and work with our people.  Not only is it our  job, but it is the way that leaders are able to improve the capabilities of the organization.  But first, let’s think about why you are annoyed.  Perhaps the issue does not belong to the annoying person, but to the manager. Is this person annoying because:

They don’t approach a problem or situation as you would?  (Does everyone have to think like you to be effective?)

They aren’t living up to your expectations? (The ones that you haven’t shared with them?)

They aren’t as competent as you would like? (Is that realistic? If they are new to the job, company, or new to working for you, they may not yet have developed the skills that they need).

In other words, is it them? Or is it you? Think about that the next time you engage with an annoying person.


1 reply »

  1. When you’re 100% personally responsible you can’t ‘blame’ others. If ‘they’ don’t get it, you (as the leader) haven’t properly explained it. Leadership starts from within. Leadership is being 100% personally responsible.

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