How to deal with Difficult people
Difficult people and difficult conversations are part of our life especially when you are doing a high profile work and dealing with many people on daily basis. The trick is not to get bogged down by difficult people, but to develop and art of influencing difficult people to make the conversation resourceful and productive. In our routine life the conversations with Boss, Spouse, Neigbours, Friends, Co-workers, have tendency to get difficult.
Over the period of years I have been following some tips and tricks when doing these difficult conversations, here I am sharing those with you.
On the positive side there is a sense of achievement that you get when you successfully deal with difficult people and achieve the objectives of the conversation.
The first technique is very simple – It’s called the Blindfold technique. Here you either assume or really blind fold yourself with handkerchief , this way you can pay attention to the words and not focus on who the person is , what is body language is or the offensive gestures. Many times the other person also thinks that we are difficult to deal with, so carrying bias about people will not help. You must leave the bias aside and only focus on current transaction (conversation). So even if you cannot blindfold yourself the trick is to listen to what they person is trying to say, in between lines, and think if there is any way you can help resolve his problem or alleviate the intensity of situation.
Tips for dealing with extra-difficult behaviors
When the other person is…
Use following tricks . . .
Aggressive and /or disrespectful
Non Listener or "know-it-all" person
Throws a temper tantrum
Silent or doesn’t want to communicate
Negative about situation or Cynical person.
- Use Inquiry over advocacy. When you strongly believe in something you tend to advocate and not inquire. Try influencing by asking questions.
- When you are facing resistance , Use Paraphrasing and Clarify the resistance.
- The rule is: Give before you ask, you must use reciprocity principle to get persuade other person.
- Control your ego. Ego causes hatred, jealousy and many such emotions. Chances are that other person also finds interaction with you difficult. Try to understand that there can be problems, unmet needs of other person , which is causing conflict.
- Use the Law of Giving before receiving. Try to give other person a small gift. It can be sincere appreciation , genuine concern or a flower, candy. It does not have to be high value. The gift is to show that amidst the conflicts , you still love other person as a human being.
- Believe in destiny, other person will not be able to do any damage to you , if its in your destiny.