GAP’s Guide to…Dealing with difficult people
Every now and then we all have to deal with people who send our blood pressure soaring and who push our tolerance levels to the limit, if not beyond.
If these people are work colleagues it can be even more difficult to cope because we cannot avoid contact with them, often on a day-to-day basis.
The following tips may help us manage these relationships better.
1. Think about the person
Ask yourself why they have this effect on you.
Do they have a similar effect on others?
How do they see you?
How are they coping with their own job?
- Listen to them
How do they phrase things?
What are their objectives?
What are their frustrations?
Should you modify the way you speak to them?
Should you listen more, and talk less?
- Keep Cool
If they raise their voice, don’t follow suit.
Answer as though they had spoken to you normally.
Don’t provoke them.
- Keep it Short
To begin with, talk to them in small doses.
Avoid long meetings unless absolutely necessary.
Keep your objectivity and don’t over-react.
Control your emotions.
- Prepare an Escape
Have a reason ready to break the conversation.
Arrange to resume at a later time.
Do not give offence by the way you break off.
- Have a Release Valve
Use the ‘Ejector Seat’ principle.
Use sport, or some physical activity, as a release.
Don’t bottle it up.
Find a way of calming yourself down quickly.