Assertively handling people who are always “right”!

A couple of weeks ago I promised we would start talking about how to handle particular challenging behaviours so let’s make a start this week.

I wonder how many of you know someone who is “always right” even when they’re not! You may have already found out the hard way that arguing with them doesn’t often work. You may also have discovered that reasoned, logical discussion may equally fall on deaf ears.

Why should that be?

The first thing to remember is that whatever behaviour pattern you are experiencing in the other person will be based on a strategy they developed in childhood as a way to survive. It is also worth noticing what is going on internally for you.

For example, are you surrounded by people like this?

If you are, start by checking out the common denominator! Have you guessed it? Maybe you are attracting these type of people into your life because your strategy developed in childhood needs the reinforcement these people provide!

We will talk more later about unpicking our own patterns or you could go back to my blogs of a couple of years ago talking about self-esteem. For now we are going to focus on handling others.

For many of you reading this the “always right” person is an irregular visitor to your life but maybe someone you need to deal with.

For the last few weeks we have been talking about feedback and have used the meta programme, referencing as the way of understanding our own reactions. We can now turn that lens on others. One possible explanation for the “always right” person could be that they are extremely internally referenced.

For this type of person there is the tendency to rely exclusively on their own evaluations and opinions. How they take in information is also important. The more fixed and rigid they have become in their thinking the more extreme their behaviour can be.

To clarify someone could be very internally referenced and still regularly taking in new data from a variety of sources. They then decide what to add to their own thinking. In other words they are still open to new ideas and concepts provided they are given the space to decide for themselves what they do with that information.

On the other end of the scale is someone who may have a “closed map”. I met an extreme example of this many years ago when doing some staff interviews for a local authority. The gentleman in question was around the age of sixty and worked in the car parks. He made a statement as follows:

“As you know, no body learns anything new after the age of eighteen.”

Next week I will tell you more about how I handled this gentleman and the outcome.  I’ll be applying a mixture of NLP and Transactional Analysis to what happened.

As we prepare for next week I’d like to invite your consider what the most effective response to such a statement might be and let me know via comments.

About Melody @ GWizlearning

Melody spent fourteen years gathering experience of the business world working in banking, telecommunications and the public sector before co-founding The GWiz Learning Partnership in 1993. Melody has a Masters Degree in Applied Positive Psychology, a degree in Psychology and a diploma in Psychotherapy. She is an NLP Master Trainer which allows her to run NLP Practitioner, NLP Master Practitioner and NLP Trainer Training courses certified by the Positive School of Intrinsic Neuro-Linguistc Psychology. She is also a qualified Myers Briggs practitioner and EI practitioner and added to all this is five years Transactional Analysis training, meaning she is able to help organisations access the hidden potential in their staff. She is also in demand for her work in transforming average or even troubled teams into high performers. Melody is a visiting lecturer at University of East London, teaching "Wellbeing and Positive Psychology" to undergraduates. Additionally, she is a member of the CIPD and is ILM accredited. Melody's interests are many and varied. She has a keen interest in personal development, canine and wolf psychology, conservation, movies and running. She also enjoys western horse riding, walking the GWiz dogs, nature watching and stage combat (particularly sword fighting).
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