So I was learning about some management best practices in terms of there being 7 major types of difficult employees:
Challengers–employees that are oppositional; they resent authority, are disrespectful and confrontational.
Clingers–people who are overly dependent; they are uncertain about what to do, fearful of making a mistake, withhold their opinions and may harbor deep resentments.
Drama Queens/Kings–these folks crave attention; they can be found spreading gossip and rumors and making dramatic pronouncements both professional and personal.
Loners–people who like to be left alone; they tend to hover over their computers and avoid personal interactions.
Power Grabbers–staff that tend to get into power struggles with their boss; they ignore instructions and resist direction.
Slackers–those who don’t do the work they are supposed to do; they tend to linger on break, calls, or the Internet or be out of the office altogether.
Space Cadets–employees whose minds and discussion always seem to be in la-la-land; they tend to be off topic and impractical.
Obviously, each presents a unique set of management challenges, but one of the most important things a manager can do is focus on specific behaviors and the impact of those on the quality/quantity of work and on the organization, and work with the employee whether through coaching, counseling, mentoring, or training on how to improve their performance.
It should never be about the manager and the employee, but rather about the results and the outcomes. Keep it objective, be empathetic, document the issues, and work in earnest with the person to improve (where possible).
Difficult employees are not evil characters (or villains) like in the James Bond movies, but rather humans being that need inspiration, collaboration, guidance, feedback, and occasionally when appropriate, a change in venue–where a square peg can fit in a square hole. 😉