Are you high maintenance?

Most of us have known someone who we considered to be high maintenance. I didn’t know there was a television show by the same name on HBO until I did a quick google search of the term high maintenance this morning. I digress.

The high maintenance I am talking about is not the show and it is not your vehicle that requires a lot of trips to the service center where you take your cars to get worked on.  No. I am talking about people.  All people. High maintenance doesn’t discriminate. It could be male or female.  It could be any ethnicity.  It doesn’t matter.

We have all have known a person that we considered to be high maintenance.  If you haven’t known someone, or you can’t think of someone quickly.  I am sorry, because the chances are, “You are most likely the high maintenance person.”

A quick definition according to google of high maintenance.  Demanding, challenging, exacting, difficult, hard to please, needy. Looking at the synonyms of high maintenance.  I personally don’t have a problem with any of them except the last one.  Needy.  

Over the years in management I have had several needy people who have worked on my teams. These are the people who tell you they don’t need any accolades.  But the first time you miss the opportunity to not give them any.  They remind you that you didn’t.

Now, as a manager it is my job to reward and celebrate achievements and wins with my team.  And I would think that a lot of managers do.  I know that I did and do.  However, there comes a point where a person who is needy on your team requires too much of it. They want it at every turn.

Here are some high maintenance or needy people’s behaviors:

  • Want credit for something they should be doing anyway
  • Want credit for something they chose to do on their own that wasn’t part of the overall strategy.
  • Want constant affirmation that they are doing a great job.
  • Are concerned with what everyone else is doing, instead of staying focused on their own agenda.
  • Everything is urgent to them.
  • They thrive on constant attention and want it at every turn.  Wether it was warranted or not.
  • They typically have very high highs and very low lows.

I love a highly competitive and engaged person on my team.  However, if it gets to the point where any of the above conditions exist on an ongoing basis, it will start to become a problem with me.

So what do you do with a high maintenance person?  Very simply. You must tell them that they are being perceived that way.

I have done this.  It hurts them at first and they want to know why you feel that way or why others feels that way. Be prepared to have lots of very specific examples of times where they have been high maintenance.

Also, be sure after you provide them this feedback, tell them how you would like for things to look going forward.  Let them know that you will remind them and provide ongoing feedback as you see other opportunities where they are being high maintenance.

Lets face it.  Nobody wants to be considered high maintenance. Unless you are a diva.  And the chances are you aren’t reading this anyway.  Very simply be a team player.  Be someone who does things for the right reasons.  Which are usually for others best interests and not your own.

To your success and your future.






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