The Diehard: one of the 52 types of difficult people I’ve documented.
Hi, I’m Mark McPherson. Every week for 52 weeks – starting today, Tuesday 22nd March 2016 , I’ll post a blog about of one of my 52 types of poorly behaved and difficult people. So here’s the very first one. It’s about a delightful character I call The Diehard.
#16. The Diehard.
Diehards cling to the old ways of doing things. They don’t listen to new ideas or give them a fair go. And they often go the extra step of actively undermining them.
Diehards fight change – anyway they can.
There’s nothing wrong with being a bit suspicious of new ideas. And there’s nothing wrong with wanting a bit of discussion before replacing the old way with something new. No, not at all. But Diehards aren’t just a bit suspicious. And they most certainly don’t want a discussion. What they want is for things to stay the same. And for you and your fancy-pants new-fangled ways of doing things to get back in your box.
Can you remember the movie Die Hard? It was released way back in 1988. And perhaps you can remember some of the 4 sequels. Anyway, in the movie, Detective John McClane (Bruce Willis) fights against evil. He fights against bad people doing bad things.
And this is how some Diehards would like to see themselves. But they’re wrong. They’re not fighting evil. All they’re doing is fighting change for no other reason than they just don’t like it.
But there’s a twist.
Now here’s something you’ve probably suspected all along. Diehards aren’t always against change itself. What they’re often against is change suggested and brought on by others. When Diehards suggest a new way of doing something, it’s smart. It’s on the ball. But when we suggest it, it’s stupid. Diehards are really incredible. Incredibly annoying that is.
Take Bernie for example.
Bernie’s a Regional Manager with a national organisation. Everyone around Bernie knows they have to make changes – and in some cases, big ones. For goodness sake, some of their warehouses are still using paper, carbon copies and faxes to keep track of what deliveries go where.
Yes, of course these still have their place. But it’s all they use. That’s it. And guess what? Sometimes these bits of paper get wet or go missing.
Change is inevitable.
The payroll system was built to handle the records of about 50 staff but now it’s being asked to cope with over 400. So a lot of records are being updated manually. The process is cumbersome and time-consuming. And too often the victim of human error.
Anyway, at long last, those at the top have seen the light and agreed to roll out some new software. Yaaahhhooooo! About time. It’ll be expensive and in some cases a bit of a disruption. But everyone agrees that the changes are necessary and in the long run things will be better. Everyone that is, except Bernie.
Bernie goes from bad to worse.
Bernie doesn’t see a need for change. And he’s out there telling the world it’s a stupid idea. And he’s often pretty rude about it. Even in front of customers. After all, the company made some changes about 15 years ago so why would you want to make any more?
But Bernie doesn’t just tell people what he thinks. Bernie’s also into a bit of sabotage. He forgets (so he says) to pass on vital information. And he mislays documents and fails to read important emails because ….. well, because ….. he reckons he never got them.
Now let’s get something straight.
We’re not talking about someone who simply has a different point of view to us. Not at all. We’re talking about someone who’s behaviour is unacceptable, inappropriate and unsatisfactory. Someone who’s behaviour fails to live up to what we consider a reasonable standard of behaviour.
So what can we do to handle the Bernie’s of the world?
And perhaps more importantly, what can we do to to deal with all the different types of Bernies. And with all the different types of people who are poorly behaved and so goddam difficult?
Well, as it turns out, there are lots of things. Lots and lots of things. And herein lies one of the problems with the old ways of helping us deal with these recalcitrants. So what I’ve done is put together an overarching list of the top strategies for dealing with them.
The list gives us a rational base for choosing, tailoring and implementing the best strategies to fit our particular situation.
Okay. We’re tired now. So let’s leave it there and move on. All the very best to you. But just before you go, here’s a short video about The Diehard. Enjoy.