Although charismatic leaders are skillful at handling people in general, they are strategists at handling difficult or hard to get along with people who may be impediments to their goals. Charismatic leaders handle difficult people by:
1. Making an assessment about the social environment they enter. Before any actions are made, charismatic leaders determine the personalities and behaviors of the individuals within an environment. If for example, a manager micromanages a department, the charismatic leader is observational and cautious before interacting with the manager. In this instance, difficulty often stems from the manager’s need for control. The charismatic leader does not give up personal power, but is willing to share power by establishing non-verbal communication boundaries with the manager. The charismatic leader “picks his battles” by determining which issues to address and which issues to ignore.
2.Choosing to be respected rather than to be loved. Charismatic leaders adore being admired, but never at the behest of being disrespected. Difficult people often prey on the weak and will continue exercising disempowering behavior as long as the conditions allow. Charismatic leaders do not thrive in weak relationships, particularly if they are the ones being preyed upon. In this vein, charismatic leaders command respect by never horsing around, pandering, or acting from a position of weakness. Charismatic leaders choose to be professional rather than being nice when dealing with difficult people.
3.Communicating candidly. Difficult people can be crass and stern. Charismatic leaders have the knowledge and comportment to express discontent behind closed doors. Charismatic leaders speak with precision pointing specifically to lapses in communication and asking for, and recommending future ways effective communications can be established. By setting and controlling the stage, charismatic leaders maintain power in determining the protocol for future interactions.
Essentially, charismatic leaders institute a strong presence within an environment, which disallows debilitating or denigrating behavior. To gain leverage over difficult people, charismatic leaders understand that image management and self-control are the keys to maintaining poise and power. The ability to handle and manage difficult people lies in the charismatic leader’s ability to lead with strength, reason, and open lines of communication.