Whatever field you work in, you will undoubtedly have to deal with at least one tough or troublesome coworker at some point. Dealing with a difficult person can sometimes be a customer, other times a coworker, and in rare situations, a management. The way of dealing with difficult individuals will vary depending on your position and the nature of the problem. There are some broad methods that can be used in most circumstances with difficult people.
How to deal with difficult people
- Staying focused and calm
Even the most sensible and even-tempered employee can be quickly derailed by difficult people. But losing control never improves the situation. You can help diffuse the situation and soothe the tough person by remaining cool and focused on the task at hand.
- Look at the situation from the other person’s perspective
When you’re yelled at or spoken to rudely, your natural defense instinct kicks in. Allowing this emotion to take control of the situation, on the other hand, might lead to a violent escalation and make it impossible to stay productive. Compassion and an attempt to comprehend the other person’s perspective can aid in determining the best approach to the problem at hand.
- Act respectfully
When it feels like a tough client or coworker is directly attacking you, maintaining a respectful attitude can be challenging. But being disrespectful might exacerbate that individual. You may find yourself shouldering some of the blame and suffering as a result of adding gasoline to the fire. Maintaining respect for the individual will assist you in moving the matter ahead in a civilized manner. And it may make it simpler to repair the connection later.
- Help build empathy for the other person
In some cases, explaining your point of view might make all the difference. People who appear difficult in some circumstances may be resisting because they believe you are being difficult. Working through the matter with the other person might help you both see where the discrepancies are.
- Focus on the positive
Finding a constructive solution to an issue might help to deflate a situation by removing the source of stress. Difficult people are frequently stressed or upset, so assisting them in resolving the source of their stress might shift the attention away from you.
- Separate yourself from the person
This may seem like a childish answer, but if a difficult person persists in being difficult despite your best efforts to work with or understand them, you may need to remain as far away from them as possible. Some workplaces and jobs may make this easier than others. Talking to management or human resources about switching work schedules or requesting office location adjustments may be beneficial if necessary.
- Elevate to higher authority
Taking a personal problem to management should only be done as a last resort in the search for a solution, but it may be required if the unpleasant individual is interfering with your capacity to work. Because management has the authority to make adjustments and propose solutions that go beyond what employees can do, management reporting can assist in permanently resolving problems with difficult people.