Dealing with Difficult People part 2 Be Humble

Kveðjur og velkomin! I believe this is Icelandic for „Greetings & welcome!“  If you aren‘t from Minneasota you wouldn‘t know this but for the past few days the streets, side walks, parking lots, and driveways have been like ice rinks…hence the Icelandic greeting. Thank you to those of  you first time readers and thanks to our faithful readers/contributers.

We began a short series of posts last week on “Dealing with Difficult People” with the blog entitled Dealing with Difficult People part 1. The purpose of this series is to give you some time tested principles and resources that I have compiled in decades of working with people; much of which I have learn from amazing experts in the fields of Life Coaching, Sales, Training, Negotiation, Psychology, and other arenas of public service. Why does an IT company offer this kind of training/knowledge? The “I” in IT represents information, not internet, and we are much more than a computer tech company. I like to think of CSI Onsite as a solution provider as well as your one stop shop for all your IT needs.

The last post introduced you to 4 Guiding Principles to follow when dealing with all people (especially the difficult ones):

Be Kind
Be Humble
Be an Active Listener
Be Assertive

Last week we looked at the 1st principle –Be Kind, today let’s talk about Principle 2 “Be Humble.”

Being humble is a trait that you will find among many who have achieved excellence as well as success. Quick definitions to set the context:

Success:           Reaching the Destination
Excellence:      Doing well on the journey to your destination

True humility isn’t being a martyr “go on without me; just leave me some water, ammo, some chips if you’ve got’em…” It is really about the way you see yourself & others fitting into the big picture of life, work, etc…

An example of not being humble came this week as I listened to an interview with San Francisco 49ers Wide Receiver Randy Moss, in which he called himself the greatest receiver to ever play the game.


Has Moss been Successful? Yes.  Has Moss done so with Excellence? Not really (he played for the MN Vikings for a long time…I have witnessed his character flaws many times over).


Staying in the NFL motif, look at someone who is acknowledged as truly excellent and successful, Walter Payton. He held and set no fewer than 13 NFL records, one for 18 years. If any football player had reason to be cocky it was Payton. But when asked about how he managed to set the all time rushing yards gained record of 16,726 yards, his answer is classic humble. The reporter made a brilliant point in his question “that’s 9 miles Walter, how did you do this, especially since you were stopped every 4 .5 yards by a tackler?” Payton said “I just kept getting back up.”

I could site more examples from multiple sources, but I think you can see the difference between these two people and see the humility at work.

How can you be humble and still get ahead, especially when dealing with difficult people? I have compiled a list of behaviors, choices, actions one can pursue to be humble in their everyday life. I used a list created by a blogger who did not identify himself as more than Mike at a site called
Look through these, print them out, email them, make your own list and work on your own method toward being successful, excellent, and humble. Next week we will look at principle 3 “Be an Active Listener.”

I’ll leave you with a quote from Walter Payton coach, the legendary Mike Ditka:
“Walter Payton is the greatest football player I have ever seen
—but even greater as a human being.”

Wouldn’t that be something if the difficult people in our lives’ could say that about us?!


These are Actions/Choices you can make that are internal, core value, life guiding types of principles

  • Make a choice to act more humbly,  practice at least one humble act each day
  • Know that timing is everything and everyone excels at different times in life
  • Use the response “It’s My Pleasure” when someone thanks you for doing something.
  • Use the response “I’d be honored” when someone asks you to help them or do something with them.
  • Listen more than you talk
  • Count to 3 before adding to a conversation to ensure the other person is done
  • It’s OK to be wrong and so admit it
  • Admit when you don’t understand or know something
  • Understand that your skills have been developed with the help of others
  • Share your own knowledge to pass on what you have learned

These are Actions/Choices you can make that involve other people

  • Forgive those who wrong you and move on without revenge or lashing back
  • Be willing to follow another person in conversation even if you don’t get to talk about your idea
  • Give credit for other’s ideas that you are carrying through on
  • Ask others for the opinion of others, ask others to join conversations and contribute
  • Always find ways to appreciate what others are doing well.
  • Pass on thanks when you receive it to those who helped you achieve what was thanked
  • Value other people’s time as much as your own
  • Ignore first impressions of people
  • Keep your goals to yourself, help other people with their goals
  • Realize the potential in others
  • Give others the benefit of the doubt
  • Serve others and not yourself first
  • Teach all that you can for the benefit of others

These Actions/Choices are a mix of the first two categories:

  • Never equate time spent with people to a dollar value
  • Don’t boast about your achievements, let others recognize them instead
  • Being the 1st follower is often the best way to lead
  • Since winning isn’t everything, you don’t have to win
  • Recognize that you have faults, remember you are no better or worse than anyone else
  • Provide positive and encouraging feedback instead of criticism
  • Be grateful for successes without boasting about them
  • Know how to accept praise with a simple thank you, don’t elaborate on it or talk more about it
  • Share your core values and live them accordingly regardless of the circumstances
  • Prioritize things in your life and rate your actions on whether to followed that priority or not
  • Seek wisdom, which is knowledge of what is true coupled with just judgment of action
  • Recognize and know that you know little and there is always more to learn
  • Avoid explosive reactions, and subside any aggression
  • Accept new ideas and change, not being stuck on what you knew before
  • Learn from and model the life of the most humble teachers in history