Dealing with difficult people at the workplace is an art which most people do not possess. Often times we have been confronted, insulted, made fun of, and intimidated by people at work; whether they be co-workers, the boss, or customers and clients.
Most people end up being frustrated at their inability to deal with such a situation and this, more often than not, starts taking a toll on their professional as well as their personal life. Although fist fights and diatribes are a rare occurrence at any place of work, innuendos and mild confrontations happen all the time. If you are in this difficult situation, here are 5 ways to deal with difficult people at work
1. Remember we all have off days
Before you get alarmed by the behaviour of a co-worker or your boss, remember that as people, we all have off days. Often things at home like a divorce or the death of a closed one and pressures at the workplace make people bitter and behave unlike their usual self. It’s a common myth that one can keep personal and professional life separate. Things do take a toll and affect people, which in turn changes their behaviour. Instead of hostility, ask them what’s bothering them and if they are feeling OK. This certainly helps quell the hostile feelings.
2. Talk to a trusted friend or colleague
Confiding in a trusted friend or a colleague about the bad behaviour of a co-worker or the boss is of immense help. But don’t end up looking whining or complaining to them. The goal of talking to a friend should be to discuss the ways of reaching an amicable solution with the said co-worker.
3. Introspect and examine your behaviour and actions
Introspection is a great way to understand your feelings and actions better. By examining and scrutinising your behaviour, you can easily understand if your behaviour might be the culprit or whether you might just be overreacting.
4. Have a private discussion
Having a private discussion with your co-worker or your boss can help diffuse the situation. The trick here is to be pleasant and welcoming and not being aggressive. A lot of people might not be aware of the impact their behaviour has on other people. Talking to them in private provides a wonderful opportunity to make them think about their actions and behaviour.
5. Be assertive when dealing with aggression
Let’s face it, there are some people who love making other people feel miserable. If you are dealing with an aggressive co-worker with whom all the above mentioned tricks have failed, it’s wise to be assertive and simply walk away. Tell them that you’ll talk to them when they calm down. There’s nothing wrong with walking away to diffuse a situation. Dealing with difficult people at work is never easy.
The above mentioned tips can help you diffuse the situation completely, but if all else fails and you realise that you might be dealing with an overtly aggressive individual, channel your energy on finding a new job.