Dealing with Difficult Employees

creating more effective leaders

Is there a leader in your organization who is described as

  • “Difficult to work with”
  • “Rubs people the wrong way”
  • “Technically brilliant but not socially skilled”

As an Executive or HR Director, you may be thinking that there’s no hope – that abrasive leaders can’t change OR that the person is so valuable that you’ll put up with almost anything to keep them.  They might be a star physician, sales person, lawyer, key technical wizard or in any other important role.

And, at this point, you also know deep down that the organization can’t tolerate the abrasive behavior anymore because the cost and the risk are too great.  You may even be worried that a lawsuit could be filed.  And, you even find yourself avoiding the abrasive leader yourself.  You want to be more competent at dealing with this situation.

There is hope.  There’s a specialized coaching program proven to be successful with abrasive leaders.  The specialized coaching for abrasive leaders uses tools to easily overcome the denial characteristic of abrasive leaders and teaches them to develop insight and the capacity to change their behavior.  They really can change.

Free Article on Abrasive Leader Solutions

Why Don’t Organizations Intervene?

  • Concern that addressing the issue will make it even worse.  It seems easier to tiptoe around the abrasive leader.
  • The situation seems hopeless – you’ve tried everything and nothing changes

What’s at Stake?

  • Others assume that the behavior is acceptable and begin to copy the abrasive leader.
  • Sub-par performance from everyone.  By not getting the best out of all employees, results are diminished for all.  Can you afford that?

Solutions – How We Support You

Brave Heart Consultants will work with you to effectively intervene with the abrasive leader. We always recommend starting with Coaching the Leader.

Coach the Leader

Work with Human Resources and the senior manager to competently address the situation. We’ll get you prepared and teach you what you need and support you every step of the way.  We will Coach the abrasive leader, including 360 feedback, coaching, 3 month assessment and sustainability plan.

Coach the Team

Work with the formerly abrasive leader and his or her team to ensure that the team culture and communication is high performing. Often the formerly abrasive leader’s new competencies lead to a new interest and capacity to work with their team. We will work with you to create and implement an individualized plan for the leader and team. This can involves actions such as coaching the management team, assessing the team functioning, facilitating team meetings and/or offsite retreats.

Coach the Organization

Once a key leader (formerly abrasive) has made significant changes as an individual and with their team, the possibility of creating a more effective organization culture is open. We will work with you to create and sustain a culture change.

The Coaching Process

The process is a 5 Phase Program that will typically take 6-7 months.

Phase 1 – Understand and assess your unique situation.  Develop a plan.
Phase 2 – 360 degree feedback process.
Phase 3 – Coaching for abrasive manager.
Phase 4 – Three month assessment.
Phase 5 – Sustainability Plan.

What Others Say

I learned techniques to accept situations

I rate Pam’s coaching a 10 of 10 because I’ve experienced a significant shift in how I respond to difficult situations at work and at home. I learned techniques to accept situations [instead of fighting what is] and the benefit of taking time to reflect.

VY, Transit Executive

Our Services


Consultation and Meeting Facilitation

We will work with you and your team to find solutions for complex challenges.

Five Behaviors of a Cohesive Team

We’ll work with you and your management team increase accountability throughout the organization.

Personality Type, Type Coach and MBTI®

Personality type is the most widely used model for teams and individuals. We will work with you and/or your team to customize work with personality assessments and team coaching.


We offer 5 types of packages to provide for flexibility in your coaching needs.

Dealing With Difficult Employees

There is hope. There’s a specialized coaching program proven to be successful with abrasive leaders.