Difficult situations and/or people exist in every single situation of life. Difficulty from others comes in every variety that you can imagine. But, how difficult a person is for one to deal with depends a lot on such factors as self-esteem, self-confidence, how closely one works with the difficult person on a daily basis, and ones personal and professional courage.
Losing your temper and flaring out at the other person typically isn’t the best way to get him/her to collaborate with you. it is always better to assume a calm persona. Someone who is calm is seen as being in control, centered and more respectable. Would you prefer to work with someone who is predominantly calm or someone who is always on edge? When the person you are dealing with sees that you are calm despite whatever he/she is doing, you will bring about more perspective and greater aspects of understanding for everyone.
Understand the others intentions.
I’d like to believe that no one is difficult for the sake of being difficult. Even when it may seem that the person is just out to get you, there is always some underlying reason that is motivating them to act this way. Rarely is this motivation apparent. Try to identify the person’s trigger: What is making him/her act in this manner? What is stopping him/her from cooperating with you? How can you help to meet his/her needs and resolve the situation?
Get some perspective from others.
In all likelihood, your colleagues, managers and friends must have experienced similar situations in some way or another. They will be able to see things from a different angle and offer a different take on the situation. Seek them out, share your story and listen to what they have to say. You might very well find some golden advice in amidst of the conversation.
Let the person know where you are coming from.
One thing that has worked for me is to let the person know my intentions behind what I am doing. Sometimes, they are being resistant because they think that you are just being difficult with them. Letting them in on the reason behind your actions and the full background of what is happening will enable them to empathize with your situation. This lets them get them on-board much easier.
Build a rapport.
With all the computers, emails and messaging systems, life and work relationships sometimes turn into a mechanical process. Re-instill the human touch by connecting with on a personal level. Go out for lunches or dinners. Get to know them as people, and not acquaintances. Learn more about their hobbies, their family, their lives. Foster strong connections. These will go a long way.
Treat the person with respect.
No one likes to be treated as if he/she is stupid/incapable/incompetent. If you are going to treat the person with disrespect, it’s not going to be surprising if he/she treats you the same way as well. As the golden rule says, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
Focus on what can be actioned upon.
Sometimes, you may be put into hot soup by difficult situations, Whatever it is, acknowledge that the situation has already occurred. Rather than harp on what you cannot change, focus on the actionable steps you can take to forward yourself and your relationship with others in the situation.
If you have already tried everything above and the person is still not being receptive, the best way might be to just ignore. After all, you have already done all that you can within your means. Get on your daily tasks and interface with the person only where needed. Of course, this isn’t feasible in cases where the person plays a critical role in your life or work – which leads us to our last tip.
We don’t develop strength, understanding or courage through easy situations. We develop these by surviving difficult times understanding difficult people and challenging ourselves to grow beyond the bounds and lead others with each step we take.
Peace and Love, Jim