May 6, 2011

Solution Focused Approach To Difficult Behaviors

Guest post by Mark Mitchell, Los Angeles, California. USA,

How many people work with difficult people? :) Most employees and managers say they do! This concept of 'difficult people', problem focused, offers SF-ers a great opportunity to expand their consulting and help with solutions at the worksite if they can join and help focus on solutions. Creating the right title for your audience is crucial depending on their cultural context. My seminars in California on "Creating Cooperative People or Behaviors" weren't as popular as "Dealing with Difficult People or Behaviors." Sometimes the negative attracts and gets attention.

Obviously seeing the challenge as 'difficult behaviors' is more helpful than seeing it as 'difficult people.'' This idea can be introduced early in the seminar by simply asking employees which concept gives more hope or makes it easier to create a better workplace. Then finally focusing on cooperative behaviors in the seminar. And what are some of the difficult behaviors employees are complaining about? Rudeness, disrespect, conflict of style of communication, harassment, attendance problems, sloppiness, not responding, and many others. Probably because in California we are very litigious employees might notice these behaviors more and there is a greater emphasis on violence in the general culture which might add to the increase of difficult behaviors.

I know in my work with difficult behaviors I have seen the whole spectrum. Originally I did a lot of work with employees with substance abuse problems on the job and workplace violence. Having being held at gunpoint a few times I know how difficult this behavior can be!:) In my work I find I go to a variety of different industries and companies places like the US Marine Corps, MTV, Paramount studios, schools, police and fire departments, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, City of Los Angeles Government, and others. What is wonderful about SF is it inspires me to look for solutions in unusual places. I have even stumbled onto difficult behaviors (found solution) with monks and nuns. The nice thing is nuns don't have guns. ;)

1 comment:

  1. Hi Mark,


    Applying solution-focused interventions in cal conversations is one thing but doing it in high adrenaline situations seems quite another.

    Do you perhaps have some suggestions what people might do who are in such stressful circumstances (like being held at gunpoint)?



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