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Dealing with Difficult People at Work

The Strategy You Must Always Use With These Difficult People Dr Judy Esmond

Dealing with Difficult People at Work Dealing with difficult people at work is one of the most common and time consuming experiences for all of us. It is arduous, irritating and wearisome and distracts from your own performance and achievements. Working with these difficult people is bad enough, but managing difficult people is a cause for more anxiety, worry and stress in the workplace than anything else.

DIFFICULT BOSS, DIFFICULT COWORKER AND OTHERS When you are dealing with difficult people at work they may be your boss or coworkers. Or these people may be difficult customers or difficult clients. Whatever role they play they are most often demanding, impolite, aggressive, argumentative and more. These people have the ability to get under your skin. They are truly tiresome and trying.

DEALING WITH DIFFICULT PEOPLE AT WORK AND ONE TECHNIQUE YOU MUST USE But whether it is your boss, coworkers or customers there is one technique that you must learn to use when coping with difficult people on the job or in your personal life. Whenever you are handling difficult people or managing people with difficult behaviors it is absolutely vital that you always aim to respond rather than react to them. There is an enormous difference between responding to these people and reacting to them.

RESPONDING NOT REACTING TO PEOPLE So what is the difference between responding and reacting to such difficult personalities? In basic terms, a response is an intentionally thought out action that you have chosen in dealing with people and their behavior. When you respond to another person, you are taking your time to carefully consider how you will deal with that difficult person. When you respond you stay in control of yourself and your own behavior. 2

THE DANGER OF REACTING IN DEALING WITH PEOPLE On the other side of the coin, when you react in trying to handle difficult people, is it a knee-jerk, spontaneous response and is done with little or no thought. Reacting in dealing with difficult people in the workplace most often involves doing or saying something that you afterwards regret. It is often about using words or taking action that when you are calm down you probably would not have chosen to do.

CHANGING YOUR BEHAVIOR IN COPING WITH DIFFICULT PEOPLE So how can you work on responding to people with difficult and demanding behavior rather than only reacting to those people? There are certainly many ways you can learn on how to deal with difficult people. But here is one technique that will help you in responding better and reacting less in dealing with difficult people at work.

PAUSE, BREATHE, THINK AND THEN SPEAK Here is what you should always aim to do. Whenever an individual demonstrates behavior when interacting with you, that you find difficult, frustrating or annoying then pause, breathe, think and then speak. Yes that is right. Sounds too simple but is a great way to start to learn to respond rather than react.

COUNT TO TEN AND START AGAIN You have heard the old saying ‘count to ten’. This saying is actually an example of responding instead of reacting. When you force yourself to count slowly to ten by pausing, breathing, thinking and then speaking you are gaining control over your emotions. You are in control and not the other person. You are on your way to responding rather than just reacting to these people with difficult behaviours. So next time you interact with someone whose behaviour you find difficult, focus your attention on slowing down and responding rather than reacting to them.


MORE IDEAS ON DEALING WITH DIFFICULT PEOPLE Would you like even more ideas on handling difficult people? Then make sure to get your free quick read book on Dealing with Difficult People: 17 Ideas on How to Deal with Difficult People at

This book will give you many more ideas you can use with difficult people at home and dealing with difficult people at work.


Š Dr Judy Esmond. This article may be shared with others on the understanding that it remains intact and credit is given to the author and the website link is always included.

Dr Judy is an international expert and is amongst a handful of 'leading lights' whose advice is constantly sought by corporations, businesses, non-profits and individuals on dealing with all issues relating to stress and also dealing with difficult people at work.


Dealing with Difficult People at Work  

Dealing with Difficult People at Work is a time consuming and draining process in the workplace. Here is one strategy that you must use whe...