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How to Be an Effective Leader When Dealing with Difficult Personalities

Blog Introduction: As a leader, you will inevitably have to deal with difficult personalities. Whether it’s an engineer who disagrees with you on the best way to solve a problem or a team member who is causing disruption during brainstorming sessions, it’s important to know how to handle these situations effectively. In this blog post, we’ll discuss some tips and strategies for dealing with difficult personalities, such as maintaining self-confidence, using empathy, and structuring brainstorming sessions. By following these tips, you’ll be better equipped to lead your team through challenging situations and come out on top.

Maintaining Self-Confidence

As a leader, it’s important to maintain self-confidence. Self-confidence is defined as “a feeling of trust in one’s abilities, qualities, and judgement.” When you are self-confident, you are more likely to make decisions that are in line with your goals and vision. You are also more likely to inspire others to follow your lead. There are several strategies you can use to improve your self-confidence, such as practicing self-awareness and identifying actionable areas for improvement, seeking feedback from mentors and advisors, and setting realistic goals.

Dealing with Disagreeable Engineers

It’s not uncommon for engineers to disagree with each other—after all, they are problem solvers by nature. However, when disagreements between engineers start to impact the progress of a project, it’s time to step in as a leader and mediate the situation. There are several factors to consider when dealing with disagreements between engineers, such as alignment on an objective and misalignment in priorities. It’s also important to be aware of hidden biases and traumas that may be impacting the situation. By taking these factors into consideration, you’ll be better equipped to find a resolution that works for everyone involved.

Structuring Brainstorms

Brainstorming sessions can be productive if they are structured properly. However, challenges can arise due to the social nature of brainstorming sessions. In order to maximize productivity and minimize potential threats posed by difficult stakeholders, it’s important to structure brainstorming sessions in a way that takes into account the different personalities involved. Some strategies for structuring brainstorms include breaking up into smaller groups, having people come prepared before meetings, utilizing the SCARF Model (brief overviews of threats & rewards), and setting clear ground rules for participation. By following these tips, you’ll be able to run productive brainstorming sessions that yield results.


Dealing with difficult personalities is a common challenge faced by leaders across all industries. However, by following some simple tips and strategies—such as maintaining self-confidence, using empathy, and structuring brainstorming sessions—you’ll be better equipped to handle these situations effectively. By taking the time to understand the different personality types on your team and tailoring your approach accordingly, you’ll be able set yourself up for success as a leader.

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