Working with Difficult People and the Best Walking Away Strategy

Published: 24th February 2010
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Working with difficult people can cause you enormous stress and strain. So what do you about these people? Here is a very interesting question sent in by one of our members. Maria asks for more advice on difficult people in the workplace. So here is the question from Maria.



A QUESTION ON DEALING WITH DIFFICULT PEOPLE AT WORK



In other written material you've talked about an array of methods to stay calm and cool down when working with difficult people. You brought up the method of walking off from a very challenging person when you are feeling yourself turning into a stressed out and an angry human being. Using this walk away method for your own stress management. Yet in dealing with difficult people at work there's a specific person you interrupts me every time I attempt to talk with them. I do in truth, want to walk away as it's driving me totally mad. But if I walk away whenever they interrupt me I, in all probability, would never come back and attempt to speak to them again. Do you have any additional advice on how I deal with difficult people like this person at work? What else can I do to remain calm and handle this interrupter?



WALKING AWAY TO CALM DOWN BUT ADD MORE



Excellent question Maria. I am sure many others would like more ideas too. So here is another idea on dealing with people at work you are interrupters when you try to speak with them. You still need to be determined to remain as calm and composed as you can. You do still need to walk off and find some space when you are feeling your stress levels rising. Whether it is just into the next room or a brisk walk around the block, use this time to calm down and think clearly. Then you can go back to try to talk to this person again. Taking this time can mean the difference between remaining calm or losing it when working with difficult people.



WORKING WITH DIFFICULT PEOPLE AND INTERRUPTING



However, instead of just turning around and walking away from this person when you feel your stress levels rising. Add this stress management and assertive communication strategy when using this walking away technique. Before you walk away for awhile you need to actually tell this frustrating person why you are walking away. Be sure to sound calm and use assertive communication in handling difficult people like this.



WALK OFF AND LET THEM KNOW WHY



Very calmly and carefully explain to that person the reason why you are walking off. For example, you can say "Helen, I am feeling extremely frustrated when you speak to me in that way. I'm going to walk off from you right now and when I come back I would prefer that when I am speaking, you don't interrupt me. I would like it if you wait until I've finished speaking before speaking yourself".



DIFFICULT PEOPLE AND SAYING IT MORE OFTEN



When you explain how come you're walking away then it conveys really clearly to this person how their behavior is disturbing you. You've explained this to them in a serene fashion and have walked off to allow you some space to calm down your emotions once more. But don't expect this person to instantly alter their behavior. This behavior is a communicating practice they've done so frequently for a long time. In working with difficult people like this person, you do need to be persistent and unrelenting. Be prepared to explain why and walk away often. Be prepared to do this as frequently as required until this person begins to alter their communication pattern with you.



WORKING WITH DIFFICULT PEOPLE AND TELLING THEM



So Maria, for each time this person interrupts you when you're attempting to speak with them, explain to them once more why you're feeling angry and upset. Explain to them once again why you're walking off. Tell them again about the changed behavior you would like to see from them once you return. Tell them clearly, concisely and sedately. Continue to tell them each time and be prepared to walk off each time until this person ceases interrupting you when you do speak with them.



GETTING THE MESSAGE THROUGH TO THEM



This rude person will ultimately get the message and have to alter their behavior in some way. They will certainly get the message, that if they need to communicate with you they will have to stop interrupting you. Otherwise you will simply walk away and come back later to try to communicate again.



WORKING WITH DIFFICULT PEOPLE STRATEGY



Consider using this strategy when working with difficult people. Always aim to be persist and consitent with these difficult people. This will mean that you will be more assertive and reduce your stress in working with difficult people who are interrupters.





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So what are your thoughts on dealing with difficult people? How do you cope when working with difficult people? We have lots more great ideas to share with you. As a leading international expert in the field of dealing with people, I invite you to get a complimentary copy of our guide on Dealing with Difficult People: 17 Ideas on How to Deal with Difficult People from our website at http://www.nodifficultpeople.com

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