Handling Difficult People – The Know It all – Personality

5 Steps to Handle the Know It All  'Personality Type

When confronted by the Know It All – Do you try to outsmart them?

Or do you become a Know It All Yourself.? Tying to Outsmart them?

Wanting to prove that you are right and they are wrong?

Meeting the Know It All

I was chatting to one of my students who attended one of  my  Leadership courses. You see she was being micromanaged and it was driving her crazy. She confided in me that when it came to performance reviews that she had always gained great feedback and was very competent in her work. This seemed a bit of a puzzle to her. However, it was something that she simply didn’t want to put up with anymore.

I mentioned to her, perhaps her manager was a Know IT All – who needs to always be in control. Which lead me to this story; and  how we can approach situations differently.

There was this martial artist who wanted to master his art. Not just practice it – to make the invisible become visible – His trainer was always correcting him and watching him closely ensuring that any mistakes that were made, didn’t go without correction. The Martial Artist would take on-board the correction eagerly as he wanted to master the art. His teacher was harder on him and expected more from him, then the rest of the students.

This Martial Artist worked as a carpenter and his site manager was a Know It all – Always micromanaging him, giving him pointers, never allowing him to think for himself. This really started to frustrate the martial artist, and he started to get a stomach ulcer from the stress.

Then one day, he got it. He was doing some reflective thinking doing his training, as to why can his martial arts teacher correct him, and that was okay, yet really the same thing was happening with his site Foreman at work and this frustrated him.

Perhaps it was because he respected his martial arts teacher, and his ego was getting in the way with the site foreman. So he decided to duplicate the way he handled his teacher, and when the foreman came to correct him, he simply turned around and said show me.

He decided to turn these instances into learning opportunities. He would simply turn around and say to the Foreman, saying - I want to Learn, show me – Now this completely surprised the Foreman as he never expected this response.

In time the Foreman lightened up on him, and even though they never became best friends, the relationship become friendlier. The Martial Artist learned some new techniques in how to approach the Foreman, and once he changed his attitude to  be a learning opportunity things started to change. His ulcer disappeared, and he no longer experiences the stress levels.

What are the signs of a Know It All ?

Rigid Mindset, Don’t Yield, Like to be right, hate correction, Perfectionist, Controlling, Knowledgeable, Outspoken, Like things done in their way, Challenged by new ideas and concepts, Being wrong is humiliation, Dominate and can use manipulation -  they like to noticed for their brilliance

When Dealing with a Know It All

  • Remain patient
  • Be Flexible and very clever in the way that you present your ideas.
  •  Remember that your leadership and personal growth comes from adversity.

Signs of the Know it All - Personality Type

 Rigid Mindset, Don’t Yield, Like to be right, They hate correction, Perfectionist, Controlling, Knowledgeable, Outspoken, Like things done in their way, Challenged by new ideas and concepts, Being wrong is humiliation, Dominate and can use manipulation -  they like to noticed for their brilliance 

Goal -   Your goal with a Know it all – Is to open their mind to new ideas

Let your mounting frustration turn in determination – Just remember patience

Your Action Plan

Step 1

 Prepare, Prepare, Prepare

Know the Facts

Make sure you research the topic or incident prior to speaking to a Know It all – The Know it all will look for errors and mistakes in the information that you deliver.

 If they pick up on any shortcomings, they will use these to discredit your whole idea.

Communicate the message briefly, clearly and concisely

Step 2


 Backtrack - Respectively


Be Warned – Out of all the difficult personality types, you will have to do more back tracking with the Know It all . 

By Backtracking you are demonstrating that you have heard and understand their point of view. ​

 If you miss a point during the backtrack, then they will reinforce their brilliance, by repeating it all over again.  

This can become very frustrating and time consuming

Remember Respectively – there can not be any hint of correction or disagreement.

 Watch your tonality ensuring that your words are not condescending.

 If the  Know It All starts to show signs of impatience, then simply speed up the process and get to the point

Step 3


Blend with their Doubts and Desires

Acknowledge the reasons and criteria around their doubts and desires .

Show that you agree with them -  If the know it all states that this will not work; as it has been tried before – Blend with this statement – saying :

 I know in the past that this has been tried and it didn’t work , ( dovetail it with the doubts and desires) -


You state the dismissal before the Know It All can   

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Do not Become a Know It All Yourself

This will result in:

  • rigid mindset
  • Needing to proof yourself right
  • Never Yielding
  • Becoming Unapproachable 
  • Missing out on New Opportunties


Present your Views Indirectly

Now the shield is down from the Know It All – It is time to carefully present you ideas by doing the following

 Use softening words like

maybe, perhaps, this may be a detour, bear with me for a moment, I was just wandering, Let’s explore this concept, - Ensure that your words are not direct or challenging to the Know It All

Use words like Us, We, Sentences like “What would happen if we ………. “, or “What might the result be if we do ………….” This includes the Know It All in with the ideas that you are putting forward – Stay away from I and my and your words

Use questions instead of statements 

People who act like Know It All’s – feel that they must know the answers to your questions. Therefore, they will consider your question before answering it For Example –

Bear with me, I was wandering, what do you suppose would happen if we were to try ( your information and idea) out  in these specific ways?


Now you would include the doubts and desires of the Know It all

Ensure you think before you speak.  – backtrack respectfully – dove tail doubts and desires

When you approach a Know It All in a non-threatening way – then you are seen up on their radar as a friendly person

As your ideas break through the shield of the Know It all’s, and they are correct, you will start to gain respect from the know it all


Establish a Mentoring Relationship

 Acknowledge them and build that relationship to guide you in an area that you are wanting to develop.  Use their skills as a mentor for other team members – Remember they like to be recognized for their brilliance.


“You Decide to Step Over the Line

Commitment Leads to Action

Action Leads to Getting Different Results”

Lee Stemm

Remember your Goal 

 Get the Know It All - Open their mind to new ideas and opportunities  

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About the Author

I coach women, online business owners, to take consistent action to get their online courses launched and sold out.

My primary focus is on unlocking limiting beliefs that hold them back, list building, and live launching of their courses, primarily via webinars and easy-to-follow blueprints that step them through the complete process.

I lead the way by being in the trenches, studying with the top online course creators in the world, implementing all the latest proven strategies in my own business, experimenting, measuring, teaching from experience that truly works.

Through a mix of coaching, hand-holding, and honest feedback,

I hold my client's aspirations close to my heart, never leaving them behind feeling isolated or disillusioned

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