Perhaps the difficult person is actually you? Does the problem happen with a lot of the people you deal with? It's great to realize that it's not you, because then you can work on being more effective—it's easier to change yourself than other people.
- The first thing to ask yourself when faced with any difficult person is, is it me? It might be a bit of both you and them. It might be mostly them, and it's just that you aren't very good at handling them. Or it might be mostly you, and you can't see it. I think most difficult people probably aren't aware that they're difficult. So it's always worth bearing in mind that you could be one of them, perhaps more than you think. So, how can you find out if it's you? What difficult habits or behavior patterns might you be guilty of? Well, I think one way to find out is to ask other people, just subtly, maybe ask them what you could do differently to be even easier to work with, and then listen very carefully to the answer.
If they say you could maybe sometimes take slightly longer to listen to them, then it probably means that you're a terrible listener. Ask the question about how you could be easier to work with, and see what nuggets you can sniff out from the answer. This could have a huge affect on how successful you are in life, so it's important to do it, and to do it well. Another clue that it might be you is if you have the same problem with more than one person.
I started work in a helicopter factory many years ago now, and I still can remember a guy called Andy, who started on the same day as I did. We both came in as managers, and both of us didn't even have a desk ready for us when we got there. The place was a shambles, as I came to find out over the years that I worked there. I could see it was futile, but Andy got really annoyed and had a big go at the estates department about his lack of desks. He then had a big go at the IT department about his rubbish computer, and a big go at HR about his lack of a proper contract.
And I remember him saying, every one at this place is so obstructive. And of course, he should have seen that the fact that it was everyone was a sign that maybe it was him. He never got anything done, and he left after a short while, oblivious to the fact that he had failed in the job, really. Because he was unable to adapt to the culture there. He just wrote the company off as useless, which in a way it was. But that's the world, isn't it? The game is to get what you want, or the best you can from any situation, however difficult the people may appear.
In a way, it's great to realize that it's you, and not them, because it's much easier to change yourself than other people. All you have to do is work out how to work more effectively with the apparently difficult person. And of course, as I mentioned, it might be a bit of each. Maybe you can change your approach a bit, and also get them to change a bit, so you can meet in the middle. For example, if you like to go fast, and someone annoys you because they're so slow, maybe you can slow down a bit, but also get them to give you a shorter summary and less detail.
Or maybe, if someone is bad at explaining things, you just don't understand what they're on about most of the time, maybe you can get them to give a more structured account, certainly, but also change yourself a little, and become a better listener. And becoming better with them could make you better with everyone else that you deal with as well. So that's the first thing to think about. Is it you? Maybe after this, you can ask one or two good friends, perhaps some at work, and some outside work, how you could be even more easy to work with.
And also think of some difficult situations, and think about how you could change, or at least share the change with the other person so that you can meet in the middle.
In this course, Chris Croft shares methods for recognizing the characteristics of some of the most common types of difficult people, and gives you strategies for dealing with these individuals more effectively. Chris provides practical techniques for dealing with a variety of different behaviors, including negativity, aggression, childishness, and selfishness. Plus, he explains how to overcome your own negative thinking, and get the best from a difficult boss.
- Identifying and understanding difficult people
- Handling aggressive and passive-aggressive people
- Working with negative people
- Working with procrastinators and people with bad habits
- Conquering your own negative thinking
- When the difficult person is your boss
- Dealing with micromanagers