According to Business Management Daily Editorial Director Pat DiDomenico, “Knowing how to work with difficult people is not a skill that comes naturally. However, if there’s no escape from difficult people, there is a way to lessen the pain.”
DiDomenico adds, “If you’re willing to make the effort, you can master the skills that will help you cope with troublesome personalities.”
Here are some difficult situations that may be encountered in the workplace—whether as bosses, subordinates or peers:
1. The art of productive confrontation. Most executives don’t know how to confront people effectively. They either blow up, don’t say anything (and eat themselves up inside) or act out their anger in manipulative ways. It takes skill and finesse to master the art of productive communication and confrontation.
2. How to make an obstructive employee productive. Today, it is difficult to fire subordinates unless they’re dishonest or blatantly out of line. In many companies, it can take years of document gathering before you can get rid of someone. Managers and supervisors should learn how to make the difficult person a productive team member.
3. How to resist intimidation. The biggest problem managers have is that they’re too easily intimidated. It’s important for employees to learn how to resist intimidation without antagonizing would-be intimidators. They also need to realize they have more power than realized, as a subordinate.
4. How to meet staff needs. Effective management comes from working with people and meeting their needs, not through confrontation. Too often, managers wind up doing too much of the work themselves because they can’t manage difficult people. Then they’re so busy that they don’t have the time to manage anyone. Managers and supervisors need to discover how to analyze and work with difficult people in ways that benefit the team as a whole.
DiDomenico concludes, “Once you make the effort, you’ll begin to notice what makes people tick. You’ll get flashes of insight into why people act differently depending on the situation and the people involved. Your people skills will snowball. Personal growth is important in all of life’s stages. You need to keep growing to deal effectively with others.”
For more information on the book, ‘Difficult People at Work: How to deal with credit grabbers, tyrants, space cadets, saboteurs and 20 other challenging personality types’, visit http://www.amazon.com/
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