August 28

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Handling Difficult People – Think I Know It All – Personality Type

By Lee Stemm

August 28, 2019

conflict resolution

5 Steps to Handle the - Think I Know It all  'Personality Type

 Would you like to get the Hook out to Remove the Think I know it all from their audience?

Tried of listening to their generalizations, distortions, and deletion; when trying to gain appreciation?



Meeting the - Think I Know it All

 

I love watching old movies, perhaps I am a romantic at heart. When I am confronted with the Think, I Know it all Personality type, who simply generalizes, distorts and deletes information; I think of the movie picture days, when someone wasn’t performing well, the hook would come out and drag them off stage.

The Think I know it all personality type, knows enough to fool people who are not familiar with the subject, however they can’t fool those who know that they are simply wanting to gain appreciation.

Having compassion and patience are two important traits, required when handling the think, I know it all personality type. I see them as the cartoon on stage, trying so hard to gain appreciation and significance from others; once again doing their performance.

When they are not getting the attention; that they desire, then they will keep on trying until they receive it. Often pushing themselves into your conversation, without being invited, putting across their point of view assertively with complete confidence.

They have a strong people focus, after all this is where they gain attention. At first their misinformation can be fun to listen to; however, you do start to stop listening, as they continually strive to be in the limelight. It becomes too much and overbearing.

Eventually the Think I know all loses credibility, respect and people start to avoid them. Their attention seeking behavior pushes you away.  Often you will hear words like “Don’t encourage her/him, we could be here forever”. This subtle message is often overlooked by the Think I know it all. Sometimes we must be more direct.

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Signs of the  - I think I know It All 


  

Often, they use generalizations, distortions and deletions of information. They are attention seeking and outspoken. Know enough information to be perceived as knowing their subject. Counterattack with grander claims and persuasions. They will defend their ideas – however they are not as fixed minded as the Know it all personality style. They stretch the truth

 

Goal -   Your goal with the - Think I Know it All - To give their bad ideas the hook

Your Action Plan


Step 1

 

Give them a little bit of attention


 When they stretch the truth, ensure that you don’t try to go completely in the opposite direction – If you do then you may lose credibility


Use a go beyond attitude – just image years into the future – What difference will it really make? – Does it really matter?


Focus on what you want to achieve and not be distracted


Backtrack with enthusiasm, this shows that you are paying attention to them  


Look on the positive – Find the Positive in the situation - Acknowledge positive intent  


For example, if you are in the meeting and the Know it all -starts to speak about foolish suggestions or regressive information – then simply say “thank you for wanting to contribute to the meeting?


You do not have to agree with the information that they are putting forward.  You are simply finding something to acknowledge to give them attention  


This may be enough to end the disruptions from the think I know it all – This may then satisfy the think I know it all, and allow others to take an active part in the conversation


Step 2


   

 

 Step 2 – Clarify their Details

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 If you are certain that they have no idea, and you know your subject, then this should be an easy step to take. Ask them some questions that will clarify the specifics  


Remember that  the I think I know it all;  use generalizations, deletions and distortions


Use questions -  Some questions could be ‘what specifically are you referring to here ………? “or Who was specifically involved with this, Or has there been a time when this generalization may not be true?


 Caution – Be careful of your nonverbal communication signs – think you know it all’s – don’t like being backed into a corner


 When cornered they may become defensive


Try to ask the question by being curious – remember humiliation is not a good strategy

Step 3

 

Step 3 – Tell it like it is


 Bring the conversation back to reality.


Using I statement to take ownership of your message.


Phrases like “In my perspective it is……..”or  “The way that I viewed  this is ………..”Or Ï read this in an article just recently…….”


Provide documentation to support your statements – It is difficult for the think they know it all to dispute the facts when they are in a written format


Great time to quote journals, facts, articles and industry references


Do not use Humiliation as a strategy

  • Ensure you have facts that you can reference
  •  Will aggressive defend if they feel like they are being attacked
  • They know enough to look like they are knowledgeable around the subject

4

 Step 4 – Ease up on them


Remember not to humiliate them – you may say something like “this is the article that I am referring to, John, I know you have been busy, perhaps you haven’t had time to read this one yet?”


Or you can say ‘Thanks for highlighting that point, it has really jogged my memory”, then simply proceed back on track.


This will confuse the know it all, which will give you time to refocus onto the discussion that you were having.


The think I know it all, will not deny or reject your appreciation from you, while they stop to appreciate your appreciation of them, then simply continue with your discussion.


IF you know what you are talking about, then they are less likely to want to distract you.


The think they know it all is not as fixed in their thinking as the know it all. Therefore they are easier to shift their thinking.


If you give them a way to get along with you, then they will become an ally of yours, and jump onto your band wagon

 

5.

 Step 5 – Interrupt the Cycle


Use gentle confrontation to let them know the consequences of their negative behavior. Have a one on one conversation from the heart.


Or – Give them active recognition on the things that they are doing well – reinforce the positive – something this is enough as they start to gain attention for the things that they are doing well.

 

“You Decide to Step Over the Line


Commitment Leads to Action


Action Leads to Getting Different Results”

Lee Stemm


Remember your Goal 


 The Think I Know It All  -  Give their bad ideas the hook



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Lee Stemm

About the author

Lee supports Online Entrepreneurs to Grow and Scale Their Business. Currently, her focus is with course creators, wanting to build and launch their online programs. She also works with the Teams within The Business, to create the culture based on Leadership and High Performance

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