Dealing With Difficult People At Work

Lets face it, there is very likely to be somebody at work that some of you literally DREAD. You try to avoid them as much as you can. When you see them coming, you rush into the toilet even if you don’t need to; if they will be at a meeting, you give an excuse not to attend; OK, so s/he is affecting your work and you are not sure how to deal with it. I want to suggest a few ways to deal with difficult people. I am not saying any ONE of these will be full-proof but at least they offer you options on what to do practically.

The BIG assumption here is that this is not a one-off difficult person – it’s been going on:

(1) Don’t fight back because that may be what they expect you to do and don’t back down (shy away timid), because that may also be what they would expect you to do – be firm. No gidigidi. Doing this will somewhat distort their orientations as in most cases, they don’t anticipate a plan B on what they should do when you don’t react in the manner expected.

(2) Try talking to the person in a private space within the office. When you do, do not make reference to “why you think they are behaving the way they are” leave out all judgments relating to their character or personality – FOCUS on 3 things (i) description of the actual difficult acts they have engaged in against you (ii) How it has impacted the work you do, your relationship with them and the overall impact on the company and (iii) one, at most 2 suggested ways things can be done better. All factual.

(3) Use behavior modification techniques – so, for each action they show towards you that is wrong – respond with the action or attitude that is the polite action they SHOULD have exhibited. If the bang the door in your face, hold the door for them. Over time (sometimes a very short time) they will begin to look stupid to themselves and begin to be moulded to YOUR behavior.

(4) If all of the above fails, then involve a senior person to speak with the 2 of you, still make sure you stick to their actions – DON’T infer to their characters. If all else fails, don’t ruin you career – ask for a transfer or Leave!

All the best out there. Be the best you can be.
Contributor : Marricke Kofi Gane, Managing Consultant -Marricke Gane Consulting UK