E416: Ask Coach – Dealing With Difficult Client Employees

Take the high road when dealing with difficult managers.


Q: What is the best way to handle a project manager that is doing a bad job?

A: First, protect yourself. Second, try to help them improve and/or let the company know.


  1. We run across them from time to time – those difficult people
    1. The PM that is a moron
    2. The superintendent that doesn’t know how to coordinate
    3. People with an ego bigger than the door
  2. How can we best deal with them?
    1. Ask, can you fire this client after this project?
    2. Yes:
      1. Document everything in writing
      2. Follow the contract to a tee
      3. Charge them for anything that is wrong
    3. No: (this makes it tougher)
      1. Avoid making a knee-jerk reaction and calling management (try to fix in field first)
      2. Document everything in writing – present your concerns in a nice manner (avoid arguments)
      3. This difficult person may eventually see you are there to help and change tune
      4. Approach management after the project is complete
        1. If you approach them during the project they may feel you are trying to get out of something

Episode 44 – Managing Your Clients

“Managing your client is an important part of building a successful business.”
Today on the Coachcast we discuss the importance of managing your client. We mean managing, not manipulating!