How do you manage difficult personalities at work?
There are steps you can take to avoid hiring mistakes, but sometimes you may hire an employee and realize it’s too late for them to want to be part of the team or culture. In people management, it’s easy to tell when an employee would rather go work somewhere else, but as long as they are part of your team, it’s your responsibility.
Difficult employees can have a bad attitude, but managing a team is about tapping into their full potential. Ask them to work on specific projects with clear instructions, sharing deadlines and deliverables with them so they can focus. If you can’t push them to take the next step in their work and get the desired results, it’s important to talk to them face-to-face and remind other senior professionals in your organization. If performance continues to be below expectations, it may be time to consider the benefits that a new hire could bring to your team.
Focus and calm
Difficult people can easily fool even the most rational and polite worker, but losing control will never make things better. By staying calm and focused on the task at hand, you can help calm the situation and the difficult person.
Look at the situation from the other person’s point of view
If he or she is yelling or talking nonsense, your natural defenses are coming into play. However, allowing this reaction to aggravate the situation can lead to escalating violence and difficulty maintaining productivity. Showing compassion and trying to understand where the other person is coming from can help you find the best way to deal with the problem.
Act with respect
It can be difficult to respect a difficult customer or colleague when you feel the other person is directly attacking you, but disrespect can lead to offense. If you add fuel to the fire, you may also take on some responsibility and embarrassment. Respecting the other person will help you handle the situation intelligently and you can easily mend the relationship later.
It helps to empower others
In some cases, making your point can make a big difference. In some cases, people who seem difficult may resist because they find you difficult. Addressing this issue can help you and others understand the difference.
Focus on the positive
Finding positive solutions to problems can help calm the situation by eliminating stressors. Difficult people are often very stressed or frustrated. By helping them manage their stress, you can focus on the need, not you.
Get away from people
This may sound like a grade school solution, but if a difficult person continues to be difficult despite efforts to work with or understand them, you may need to get as far away from that person as possible. In some workplaces and workplaces, this may be easier than in others. If necessary, it may be helpful to talk to your boss or human resources about a different work schedule or request a change of office.
Bringing personal conflicts to the attention of management should be a last resort, but may be necessary if difficult people are affecting your ability to perform. Management has the authority to make changes and propose solutions that go beyond the capabilities of employees. Therefore, management reports can help you resolve problems with difficult people.
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