It’s maddening to work with someone who runs you over because their goals are more important than anyone else’s.

I worked with someone like this. He was controlling. He talked over me and others in meetings and rolled his eyes when I made suggestions. Not to mention saying things like, “We don’t have time to hear about that.” Yeah, he was difficult to work with.

There are three typical types of difficult, controlling people like this according to Drs. Rick Brinkman and Rick Kirschner:

A TANK who is direct, loud, and forceful.

A SNIPER who comments rudely, undermines, and uses sarcasm. 

And a KNOW-IT-ALL who is outspoken, domineering, and even manipulative. 

When you work with one of these types knowing their underlying motivation can prevent uncomfortable interactions and combative situations. Most of the time, the Tank, Sniper, and Know-it-All aren’t intentionally being jerks. They just want to get things done.

  • To steer interactions toward healthy conflict with get it done people, try these tips:
  • Give them a sense of control by providing two options for them to choose from.
  • Speed up the pace.
  • Show strength and confidence
  • Focus on the solution
  • Get to the point
  • Remove roadblocks that are causing bottlenecks

People are complex, yet they are simple. If you work with someone who is vying for control, give them a sense of control. You just might be surprised how flexible they become in return.