4 Strategies to Give Effective Feedback to a Difficult Person | by Vinita | Nov, 2023


Respect is like air. As long as it’s present, nobody thinks about it. But if you take it away, it’s all that people can think about.

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Do you have smart, talented, high potential or high performers on your team? Those who have a knack for solving complex problems and those you always seem to rely on when it comes to getting things done.

Their brilliance may be admired by many, but what if they only shine when it comes to independently getting work done. What if your team finds it hard to communicate and collaborate with them which hurts their productivity and performance?

What if they:

  • Demean others when their ideas fall short.
  • Become defensive and take it personally when others disagree with them.
  • Set extremely high standards and expect others to meet them.
  • Express their dissatisfaction by shouting or displaying anger and frustration in their body language.
  • Establish their superiority by interrupting others and not letting them speak.
  • Expect differential treatment and do not follow good practices in the team.

Being good at what they do does not give them a free pass to bemoan, belittle or act in a thoughtless manner towards others. Everyone deserves respect and no one should be expected to tolerate bad behavior — not even from a brilliant jerk.

So, how do you tell them that their behavior isn’t acceptable and they need to change the way they work with others?

The best bosses do more than charge up people, and recruit and breed energizers. They eliminate the negative, because even a few bad apples and destructive acts can undermine many good people and constructive acts — Robert Sutton

This does not mean you go and get rid of them right away. Firing should be your last option when nothing else works. Before that embrace the difficult task of giving feedback to these difficult people.


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