How People Tick

We review Mike Leibling’s book How People Tick and find a more peaceful way of working

Difficult people

Mike Leibling’s book How People Tick. seems at first to be just another book about dealing with difficult people. It is a popular subject, after all who wouldn’t want a more peaceful and harmonious life?

Repositioning challenge

The common theme of most books on difficult people is to place the blame with the reader, and not the other (difficult) person.

Mike Leibling takes a refreshing approach to the subject, in How People Tick, he applies some straight-forward common sense.

It is not the people who are difficult he says, it is the things they do, or the way they do them that create the difficulties for other people, and make them difficult to deal with.

Therefore it is not the person you have to deal with but the action. But then changing behaviour is easier said than done.


There are infinite different types of annoying behaviour.

In How People Tick Mike Leibling explains how to deal with over forty of them in an easily digestible format, which makes the book very well suited to being used as a quick reminder before a meeting or after a difficult encounter.

Clear approach

His approach is clearly defined.

He explains why the behaviour is annoying and difficult to handle, what makes people adopt these behaviours and then offers advice on how to deal with the difficult behaviour.

He also includes some warnings about giving in to our instincts.

Whether the behaviour is affecting a relationship with a colleague, a customer, a supplier or a family member, Leibling provides an insightful explanation of how to create a more harmonious relationship.

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