Wherever you work, you are likely to meet difficult people. It could be coworkers, bosses or customers with whom you have to deal. Thankfully, depending on who they are and how they behave, you can develop strategies for how to deal with difficult people are work.
1. Rise above it
Largely, your response to other people is triggered by your own self-esteem and how you feel about yourself. You are in charge of that.
It is much easier to deal with difficult people at work if they are negatively impacting upon a lot of people. That way, you have allies, also treated badly by that person, who can help you deal with them.
But what about if you are the only person dealing with that difficult one? Then you have to fall back on your own self confidence. Be sure you are doing your job properly and you are treating people well, then you can tell yourself it is the difficult person`s problem, not yours and you can forget about it to a large extent.
2. Develop good relationships
Develop good, positive relationships with everyone you work with. Do your job well, but accept and ask for help when necessary.
Appreciate those you work with and the job that they do. If you respect other people at work they are more likely to respect you and be less difficult with you.
3. Give effective feedback
If someone is being difficult at work, often, you will need to do something about that. You may have to give them some feedback. The way you do that is important if it is to be effective.
First, ask if it’s OK to give the person feedback and if it’s a good time. It is always better to talk to them when they want to listen to you. Give them a heads up so that if you have to tell them something that may be difficult for them to hear, tell them that so they can prepare for it.
Be straightforward and simple. Tell the person the issue and also the impact it is having on other people. Let them know the positive impact that behaving differently would have on people. That will help them see a reason to change.
Also, talk with them about ways they could change their behavior. They may not see these ways for themselves, especially at first.
4. Dealing with negativity in a coworker
We all know people who just love to complain and see the darker side of things, don`t we? But that kind of negativity can drag you down and get you depressed if you let it. Instead, be proactive.
The first thing to do, although you may not feel like it, is to listen to the negative comments. Then you can decide if they are justified. They might be: in which case, you have something to work on and improve.
If they are unjustified as far as you are concerned, then just a listening ear may be all the other person needs.
You could try sympathy, saying “I can see how that would be really bad”. Sometimes that can shock the negative person into thinking things really aren’t that bad after all!
6. Dealing with conflict
Often, people are afraid of conflict and that makes it difficult to deal with, especially when it makes you doubt yourself. If a conflict flares up, try to remain calm. If necessary, say that you need some time to think and arrange a time when you can talk together after you have calmed down.
Plan what resolution you want. Work out the things on which you must stand firm due to your beliefs and self respect, and those on which you can compromise in order to reach agreement.
These steps should help you deal with difficult people at work, no matter what issues you have to tackle with them.