Most of us have worked with one of them, and we’ve all met them. You might have even left a job over them. Who are these people that we would prefer not to deal with because they are so challenging to work with?
These are high-conflict individuals that can be hard to please. They frequently blame others for their issues, leaving people who deal with them on a regular basis worn out from the mental acrobatics they have to perform to satisfy this person.
Conflict resolution is a skill that Megan Hunter excels in. She is a coach and speaker who teaches people how to handle conflict. She is also a co-founder of the High Conflict Institute. Along with Bill Eddy, Megan co-founded a company that offers conflict management training to other professions, including the legal sector.
In the first episode of this two-part series of Great Practice, Great Life®, Megan outlines the four characteristics of high-conflict individuals. They are:
- Unmanaged emotions. Rather than respond with moderated emotions, a high-conflict person might yell, cry, or do something else. Their responses to situations are extreme rather than modulated.
- Extreme behaviors. This ties in with unmanaged emotions, which lead to screaming, crying, yelling, and other behaviors associated with overreactions.
- All-or-nothing thinking. High-conflict people see the world in black and white. You’re their friend or their enemy, and nothing in between.
- Blame. A high-conflict individual’s first inclination is to blame someone else for something that goes wrong. It’s often wrapped in self-righteousness, which causes further inflammation of the problem at hand.
High-conflict people can often be attributed to the attrition seen in firms. Rather than continue to deal with someone unlikely to change, employees opt to leave instead. They typically don’t explain to management that they’re leaving due to a person they no longer want to work with or for.
If you want to learn more about dealing with high-conflict people, check out https://atticusadvantage.com/episode017