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9 Useful Strategies to Dealing with Difficult People at Work

https://www.businessinsider.com/9-useful-strategies-to-dealing-with-difficult-people-at-work-2011-6

businessinsider.com

9 Useful Strategies to Dealing with Difficult People at Work
Ever encountered someone who frustrates you so much that you feel like you want to pull your hair, jump around the room and just scream out loud? You're not alone. Over the years, I've encountered my fair share of difficult people.

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Be calm

Be calm
Someone who is calm is seen as being in control, centered and more respectable. 

Unless you know that anger will trigger the person into action and you are consciously using it as a strategy to move him/her, it is better to assume a calm persona.

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Understand the person's intentions

Even when it may seem that the person is just out to get you, there is always some underlying reason that is motivating them to act this way. 

Try to identify the person's trigger: What is making him/her act in this manner? What is stopping him/her from cooperating with you? How can you help to meet his/her needs and resolve the situation?

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Get some perspective from others

In all likelihood, your colleagues, managers and friends must have experienced similar situations in some way or another. They will be able to see things from a different angle and offer a different take on the situation. 

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Where you are coming from

Letting them in on the reason behind your actions and the full background of what is happening will enable them to empathize with your situation. 

This lets them get them on-board much easier.

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Build a rapport

Build a rapport

Connect with your colleagues on a personal level. Go out with them for lunches or dinners. Get to know them as people, and not colleagues. Learn more about their hobbies, their family, their lives. Foster strong connections. These will go a long way in your work.

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Treat the person with respect

If you are going to treat the person with disrespect, it's not going to be a surprise if he/she treats you the same.

Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

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Focus on what can be actioned upon

Acknowledge that the situation has already occurred. 

Rather than harp on what you cannot change, focus on the actionable steps you can take to forward yourself in the situation.

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Ignore

If you have already tried everything and the person is still not being receptive, the best way might be to just ignore.

Get on your daily tasks and interface with the person only where needed. 

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Escalate to a higher authority

When all else fails, escalate to your manager. 

This is considered the trump card and shouldn't be used unless you've completely exhausted your means. 

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SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

Identifying Difficult People

  • The Perfectionist. If you are looking for quick results, perfectionists can be a source of frustration.
  • Control freaks. When you want to do th...

Identifying the Issue

Turn the situation inward and analyze your triggers and reactions to these situations. 

  • How do you react to a difficult person in your life?
  • How does your difficult person react to your reactions?
  • If the other person is the problem, are you growing unhealthy actions and reactions in response to him or her?
  • Are you the difficult person driving others to reactive behavior?
  • How do others react to your actions and responses?

Mitigating These Situations

Separate the facts from your assumptions. 

Separate yourself and your reactions from the negative emotions you may be feeling in the moment. 

6 more ideas

Develop Your Self-awareness

  • Learn to manage your own emotions. 
  • Practice noticing your feelings, thoughts, and behavior--your triggers. Document things as they com...

Be Assertive and Set Boundaries

An assertive person takes full responsibility for herself and her actions. 

  • Seek self-control, be fair and reasonable, take on the part of the problem that belongs to you, and keep the rest of the problem where it belongs--with the difficult person.
  • Set limits and stand up for yourself so others won't take advantage. 
  • Use "I" statements, not "you" statements (these tend to lead to attack and blame).

Listen

  • Give the difficult person a chance to finish without interrupting. 
  • Ask clarifying questions if confused, and use paraphrasing and mirroring to check the accuracy of hearing.
  • Acknowledge the other person's feelings. So, if the other person is angry, say, "You must be feeling very frustrated..."

Understand the situation

Complaining about a difficult work situation will not make it go away. Try to understand the situation, and find a way to understand and accept your colleagues.

People’s characters ...

Learn how to accept criticism

Sometimes it can help us identify weaknesses we didn’t know we had.

Analyze it and take what is helpful from it. If you find it is meaningless bitterness, disregard it immediately.

Winston Churchill

Winston Churchill

“You have enemies? Good. That means you’ve stood up for something, sometime in your life.”