When dealing with abrasive personality types on your team, you may be faced with some challenges. If they are a top performer and replacing them isn’t an option, you might feel stuck. Replacing them can be expensive. It also might not be in your best interest, either. At this point, it begs the question: how do you manage an ‘unmanageable’ employee?

We’re here to help you get through this difficult problem and discover solutions for future employees who might cause you some headaches.


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Figure out who they are

There are several different types of abrasive employees. If you need to figure out how to handle them in the best way, you need to identify them first. For each different type, there’s a different way to approach them. Once you know what you’re dealing with, you will be able to move forward.


Handle the victim

One of the types of abrasive personalities is the perpetual ‘victim.’ A victim lacks personal responsibility and will always find excuses to escape it. They’re able to manipulate circumstances, twist events, and make excuses in order to avoid punishment. In the instance of dealing with a perpetual victim, lay down the law; ensure that this employee knows what you expect from them. Lay out well-defined goals, objectives, and the consequences for not following them. Make it known to them that they need to accept responsibility for mistakes.


Cool them off

You might be dealing with an abrasive personality that has an insatiable temper. They might be someone who flies off the handle at any mild inconvenience. They may throw a fit when things don’t go their way. Or, they might even be the workplace bully. The best way to approach a high-strung employee is to establish a way for them to change their behavior. Give them a certain amount of time to change their ways, and offer an ultimatum.


Turning around negativity

Negativity on any team can cause damage to morale and decrease productivity. A way you can control the impact of negativity is by turning it around into positivity. If you notice one of your employees bogging down the rest with their negative attitude, bring them aside and try to diffuse it.