Capstone Presentation Essay

Have any of you heard the phrase “Kill them with kindness”? I grew up hearing this from my mother. This phrase is often used by parents and other adults to help children understand how to deal with troublesome individuals they may encounter. For my capstone research project, I chose to interview reputable working individuals on their experiences, personal tactics and any advice they would give to others dealing with troublesome individuals.

A troublesome person is someone who has a negative attitude, is not considerate of other’s feelings, and treats others with disrespect, or causes conflict with others. The advice for dealing well with troublesome individuals was uncovered through interviews with four working individuals who had been recommended to me through business professionals I know and respect. My research question is: According to individuals who have a reputation for dealing well with troublesome others, in what ways can troublesome others be handled competently through communication?

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As upcoming college graduates, many of us will be entering the working world very soon. My interviews, with these working individuals, helped me understand the experiences and observations of others and which communication tactics were found to be most successful in dealing with troublesome others in the workplace. Many scholarly articles were reviewed throughout this process and support my final results.

These shared experiences have been analyzed and the advice has been sorted into piles and smart lists to help create concise, overall themes within the interviews that result in answers to the research question. Through the interview process, I found that my sources would advise us to 1) avoid trivial conflict 2) remain calm and professional 3) take an open, honest and direct approach to the situation 4) move issues to neutral erritory and finally 5) listen to the other’s feelings. Using these communication tactics, dealing with troublesome individuals will be dealt with and resolved more efficiently. After explaining my idea, research methods and answers for the ways troublesome others can be handled competently through communication, I have learned that it is better to kill the conflict by attacking it head on and professionally instead of just killing it with kindness.

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