Quote of the Week:
“Difficult People are your key to self-empowerment, you need to learn how to cope with them, and not let them dominate and affect you.” – Janice Davies
What does this quote bring to mind? What personality type is a challenge for you? What have you done to overcome this difficult person? Please let us know more via the comment section below.
We have all come across difficult people at work. In my experience, a challenging person may leave me stifled and frustrated. I may not be as efficient and effective as I’d like to be. When working with a problematic person, a red flag is fatigue and irritation after spending time with that person.
Yet, these are signals that there’s work to be done. I can avoid it or step up to the challenge. If I accomplish this task it may enhance my career while possibly helping the other person.
Obviously, not all disagreements and personality clashes can be attributed to difficult people, yet there certainly are extreme cases where a co-worker can make it virtually impossible for you to work together creating an almost toxic work environment.
Questions to ask yourself:
1. How long will I be working with this individual?
2. How important is my relationship with this person to my work and the bottom line?
3. What areas of communication do I need to address personally? Am I paying attention or distracted? What’s my contribution to this issue?
4. Do I have the ability to empathize with this individual or some part of them?
5. What role do I play in this challenging situation?
6. What type of person is this? Aggressive, shy, passive-aggressive? What approach works best with their type?
6. Tips to Deal with Difficult People
1. Get feedback from others about yourself with someone you trust. Ask how they experience your communication style and if they see roadblocks.
2. Avoid gossiping about the person. Anger feeds anger. Negativity Feeds Negativity. The situation becomes unnecessarily magnified.
3. Take time out. Practice and plan your interactions. Learn effective communication tools when working with certain personality types.
4. Avoid taking this situation personally. You are probably not the first to feel frustrated with this person.
5. Hold your ground by communicating rather than arguing. Set boundaries rather than allow angry or inappropriate behavior to impact you.
6. View the situation as an opportunity to learn rather than avoid. It’s important to understand that these interactions are a part of work and life. They will happen many times throughout our existence. We have the opportunity to improve and feel empowered or remain stagnant and uncomfortable when dealing with these situations.
In our next post we’ll talk about “Types of Difficult People” and how to recognize and cope with them.
Thank you for reading. Have a great weekend.