Managing people is difficult. Period. There are personalities, moral codes, needs, and then their personal lives to be dealt with. What makes a good manager a great one? One who can find the hidden talents in each of their people and help them grow as individuals and team players.
The consummate victim has its unique challenges. They tend to blame others and not take responsibility. They will whine and moan behind people’s backs. They can have acerbic and inappropriate humor. They are your tortoises – they do things slowly. Slow can lead to procrastination and they will wait until the last minute to get things done. They can seem so much like Eeyore, it’s difficult not to grin and say: “Where’s my tail?” (in his sing/song, deep, whiney tone). However, these “victims” have hidden talents that are just waiting to be brought out and valued.
They seem weak because people can bowl through their boundaries. They need to learn how to say “no” in a healthy way – but don’t we all? Spending some time with them on boundaries and their compassionate “no” will pay off in a big way for your future projects because these people will become your strongest assets. Be careful here, because when they start using their “no” they will be using it with you as well.
They are wise. Listen to their words. They have creative ideas and wisdom to share with you and the others on your team if you allow them to speak. Let them stumble. Don’t finish their sentences. Give them the time to find their words. They may seem like the class clown at times, but when they are focused and on task, they have richness to add to any meeting.
They want to please and like working with teams. They avoid confrontation like the plague. They can “go with the flow” and are more Type B personalities. Use these qualities, but don’t let them get lost and used by the team itself or get bullied by other people.
Keep in mind that the heart of these team players is a generous one. They want to make everyone happy. They will give and give. Rewarding and acknowledging their generosity is the positive motivation they need to continue on this path.
They are your thinkers and need their time and space to properly work things out in their head. Give them this time and they will find a creative solution to most any problem. If deadlines are involved in your profession, they might procrastinate until the last minute. This can be frustrating. Try to give them some leeway, but don’t allow them to sabotage the team by supplying their part too late.
Personal Responsibility & Choices
When they come to you with their “woe is me” attitude help them see what part they play in the situation. Always give them lots of choices and remind them of the choices they make. Once they start taking responsibility and can see that they have lots of choices, their world will open up and your business will reap the benefits.
Working with all personality types is a challenge for any manager. At times it can be difficult to see the hidden talents in any individual. Setting your intention to find and nurture these latent character traits of your staff will take you from goodness to greatness as a manager.