How To Effectively Deal With Difficult People At Work
There are difficult people in almost every workplace. Sometimes, it may seem that they take it upon themselves to get on your last nerve and make staying professional a challenge.
It could be the team member who shoots down all your ideas or that co-worker with a notorious temper, poor personal hygiene or even the manager who doesn’t seem to appreciate your contributions no matter what you do.
These behavioral issues in the workplace are a real productivity downer and can sap the energy right out of you.
It takes courage to deal with such people while maintaining professionalism. Here are some ideas to effectively deal with difficult people at work.
Put Yourself In Their Shoes
You might think your co-worker has a personal vendetta against you, but that’s rarely ever true. No one is difficult for the sake of being difficult. The real underlying reason for them to act this way might be completely different than what you were suspecting.
This motivation isn’t always apparent, though. Spot their trigger—what stops them from cooperating with you?
Put yourself in their shoes to understand where they’re coming from. It’ll help you resolve the problem more quickly and form cordial working relationships with them.
Let Them Know Your Intentions
Now that you’ve made an effort to understand their motivations, it’s time to tell them where you’re coming from. It might be that they’re causing trouble because they’ve misunderstood your intentions.
Sit them down. Discuss the reason behind your actions. Give them the full background of what’s going on with you so they can empathize with your situation.
Learn To Ignore
If you’ve tried everything and the person still doesn’t let up, leave them be. You’ve done your part and as there’s no reciprocation of effort from their end, ignore their actions.
Get on with your job and interact with the person only when needed. This might not always be feasible in cases where the individual causing you difficulty works closely with you. In such a situation…
Appeal To Higher Authority
This trump card should be used as a last resort. Go up the line to your manager, discuss the problem and request resolution.
It’s one of the most effective ways to help with highly uncooperative work colleagues. Be careful not to over-exercise this option, though. It may make you look incapable of resolving your own problems.
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