People react according to their perception of others, in spite of reality, according to Linda Kruse, assistant vice president of human resource management for Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Utah.

It only takes a few seconds for someone to make up his mind about other people when first meeting them, and that's why it's necessary to know how to handle different people in the workplace, Kruse said.Speaking on how to work with difficult people during a seminar sponsored by the Salt Lake Area Chamber of Commerce's Business Development Council, Kruse said a person's value system is formed in the first five years of life, making it difficult to change after that.

Kruse said many people today don't work for a company for many years to receive the traditional gold watch upon retirement, but they are working for a profession and their own fulfillment. That's why the average person changes jobs every four years.

Explaining why people don't perform on the job, Kruse said it's because of a lack of standards established so people know what to expect, conflicting standards, incorrect reinforcement of the standards and faulty organization environment.

Kruse said people can handle one negative at a time and it takes 10 positive situations to overcome one negative. That's why it's important to praise employees when warranted.