Learn How To Work With Difficult People
As a solopreneur I no longer have to deal with co-workers. In the infrequent times I encounter a problem client I do everything possible to get them out of my business and out of my life as soon as I possibly can. In my opinion there is NO amount of money worth the aggravation of a pain-in-the-ass client.
Prior to going out on my own I spent several decades working with others in a shared office. Nearly all the co-workers I dealt during that period with were motivated, positive and supportive. But there was always one or two people that seemed to enjoy undermining and agitating everyone else in the office.
Have you ever experienced a difficult co-worker? How did you handle the situation?
NetCredit has an excellent infographic, posted below, on 9 effective ways to handle a difficult co-worker and keep your sanity:
How To Work With Difficult People Summary:
- Be proactive and communicate up-front with your co-workers on how you intend to treat others and how you expect to be treated in return. Suggest an open-discussion policy that will enable you to work out any problem individually and privately. Never discuss an issue in front of other office workers.
- Listen to their position with an open-mind and try to understand where they’re coming from. If you’re a poor listener (like I am at times) work on it. Sometimes its your poor listening skills are creating or adding to the problems.
- Repetition is the mother of skill. Repeat your position often to make sure your point is not only heard but understood. In short, repetition works.
- Keep your head and stay calm. Learning how to manage your emotions during times of stress is a trait worth its weight in gold; especially in an office environment. If you get flustered, remove yourself from the situation immediately to diffuse the tension. Then step out and get some air to calm yourself down.
- Work on your body language. If you don’t understand body language make a point to learn it by looking up tips online or buying a book on the subject. If you’re standing with a co-worker locked in debate, suggest that you both take a quick walk together.
- Create a 2-way dialogue where you explain what your interpretation of the situation is and ask the other person if that’s the same way they’re are seeing it. Listen carefully and be open to changing your view.
- Recognize and acknowledge any positive change with the other person. For example if you notice the other person acting on your suggestions, mention how much you appreciate it and how it makes you feel.
- Be very precise and clear on your expectations. If you lack clarity with the other person this will add to both the resentment and frustration. And make sure the expectations of one another is a two-way street.
- Pick and choose your battles wisely. Not only is feuding with a co-worker frustrating but it is also exhausting and leads to a lack in your productivity and focus. Don’t get stuck in this trap. Try to resolve the biggest issues first and then use that as an olive branch to dial in the rest.