Handling Difficult People
Handling difficult people: A guide to challenging behaviours
It is easier to deal with people who are obnoxious, or if their behavior affects multiple people. It is more difficult to deal with them when they attack you, stealthily criticise you, gossip about you, or undermine your professional contribution.
There are many types of difficult people. Some people talk all the time and don’t listen. Others always have the final word. Coworkers sometimes fail to honor their commitments. Some coworkers criticise things they didn’t create. Coworkers who are difficult compete for power, privilege, or the spotlight. Some go too far to change the boss’s positive opinion to your disadvantage.
It is not uncommon to have to deal in professional settings with difficult people. Communication with these people can be difficult and drain our energy and time. These situations can quickly turn emotionally and unproductive, which can have long-lasting effects on relationships.
You spend most of your time dealing with everyday people at work. You will need to have additional interpersonal skills in case a coworker becomes difficult. You can improve your ability to deal with difficult people in your workplace. These tips can help.
Tips for dealing with difficult people
Sometimes we feel like we have to make others change. However, we only have control over our thoughts and behavior. These are some tips to help you get started.
- Change your perspective – People who are struggling are coming to you for assistance. Although they might be difficult, they are not the problem. It can be very effective to change our attitude towards the people we serve. Don’t be an enemy, but an advocate.
- Listen like a friend.
- Change your patterns – Doing the same thing over and over again will lead to the same results. Make the first step to encourage others to make a change. You should not take their words personally, but you must listen to them. Over-deliver and under-commit. You must take control of your relationships.
- Even if you plan and use all the above suggestions to deal with difficult people, situations may escalate faster than you expected. These are some tips to help you get through difficult interactions.
- Communicate difficult information with professionalism and kindness
- Expectations must be set and maintained.
- Be consistent.
You need to be able to deal with difficult employees as a manager, business owner, or leader in HR. An employee who is difficult to work with is more than a problem between two employees. Discontent can grow and become a distraction if it is caused by one employee. You can diffuse the situation and bring back productivity if you manage it correctly.
How to Deal with Difficult People
It may be part of your job to deal with difficult employees. These five steps will help you to resolve difficult situations diplomatically and effectively.
1. Do not ignore the problem
Do not expect the problem will go away on its own. It will only make the problem worse. Although few people like confrontation, it is not possible to allow employees to cause havoc in your workplace. The bottom line is that there’s far too much at stake for us to ignore.
2. Be Professional
Your interaction with the employee is crucial to your success. Create a friendly, professional environment for employees to share their experiences. It is a business conversation.
3. Do not make assumptions. Don’t jump into conclusions.
Engage in a conversation that is seek-to-understand. Have a conversation with the person to find out if they are aware of their behavior, and how it affects the team.
Instead, identify the root cause of an individual’s behavior and then work to fix it. You can then resolve the issues by identifying the root cause of the problem.
4. Suggest improvements
Once you have identified the problem, the right tools and resources can then be used. Ask them first to describe the support they require to change their behavior. The employee should be reminded that part of their job performance can be measured by their contribution to the success of the organisation. Your suggestions for improvement must be objective, measurable and realistic.
5. Follow these steps
You have tried all you can to solve the problem, but you are not getting any results. It is time to bring in a boss or manager. You need to escalate the problem. It is important to communicate with your manager. Although there is no miracle cure, there are ways to improve the behavior of others. To fix such problems, it takes patience and time. It is possible to work together to avoid conflict-producing and unproductive behavior.