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Managing Difficult People and 12 Steps of Preparation

cartoon of angry people holding man on chair Managing difficult people is tough work. Dealing with difficult people at work or in your personal life is never easy. However, most advice focuses on how you communicate directly with them. But planning and preparation is an important and often overlooked part of dealing with difficult people. So here are 12 of my top steps to help you in successfully preparing to deal with difficult people in any situation.

1. Listen With Your Heart and Ears

Be aware of others around you. Begin by listening not just with your ears but also with your eyes. Your ears can listen for the words. But your eyes will see the non-verbal language of others. Aim to be aware of how others are behaving around you. Often issues can be quickly dealt with before they become problems when you are aware of what is happening around you.

2. Do Not Ignore It All

Do not ignore it because it will not go away. When you are managing others do be responsive to their needs. Ignoring difficult people and uncomfortable situations is a disaster waiting to happen. Hoping it will all go away rarely works. In dealing with difficult people you will have to be prepared to take some action.

3. Change Your Perspective

Decide to change your perspective in managing difficult people. When dealing with others you find frustrating and stressful, see it all as a learning experience and not a problem. Be open to learn the lessons such difficult people bring you.

4. Alter Your Responses

When you change your outlook, you also change your responses to others. You will now be more aware and interested in exploring other strategies in dealing with others that you never have considered before.

5. Stay As Objective As You Can

Strive to be as objective as possible. Avoid subjectivity. The more subjective you are, the more emotional you become. The more emotional you are the less able you are to think and act clearly. Stick to facts and remain objective.

6. Stay Calm And Professional At All Times

To assist you to be as objective as possible see yourself as a calm, cool and collected professional. This does not mean that you are cold and heartless. But that in handling others you are professional and calm.

7. Look From The Outside In

Try and step back and look at the situation from the outside looking in. As if you were an observer. This will help you see the bigger picture in dealing with others and stressful situations.

8. Choose Your Battles Carefully

Decide carefully what issues you need to pursue and what you just need to let go. Sometimes in managing others you find difficult, you see everything they do in a negative light. You are then constantly fighting battles with them about everything. Smaller issues you would otherwise easily let go now become part of a constant battleground.

9. Strive To Be Honest And Open

Avoid playing emotional games in managing people. Aim to be as honest and open as possible. Being deceptive seriously damages your reputation with everyone else around you. Remember a good reputation can take years to develop and minutes to destroy.

10. Be Respectful Of Other People

No matter how annoying and frustrating you find others, remain respectful. Abusing others and being disrespectful only reinforces a lack of control on your part. Respectful communication should always be your goal.

11. Have Empathy For Another Human Being

Remember you are dealing with another human being, with all their strengths and weaknesses. Showing empathy often changes your relationship with another person and can open up real communication channels.

12. Get Ready To Dive Deeper

Managing difficult people means having an awareness that how they act on the surface is only the tip of the iceberg. To really understand why a person is acting this way means being prepared to communicate at a deeper level.

The Foundations of Your Success

Following these 12 steps is a great foundation to ensuring your success in dealing with people in general and especially in managing difficult people.

About The Author
Are you working with these type of individuals or coping with them at home? Then it's time to pick up a free copy of my popular short guide with 17 Great Ideas on Dealing with Difficult People. You can grab a FREE copy at this website link

Dr Judy Esmond is a leading international expert on employee retention, stress and dealing with people.

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