Many years ago, a friend of mine spent six years trying to find a way to deal effectively with a particularly difficult person and in one tense moment, finally blew up from all of the pent-up strain. So what do you think happened? You guessed it. My friend got in trouble. He had ‘meetings’ about the incident with several people, was asked to get a coach to help him deal with the situation and I suspect his performance appraisal reflected the incident. And this all occurred in spite of numerous complaints from multiple people about the DP.
I had a customer a few years ago that was another one of those difficult people. I played along for many months until the situation got the better of me and guess what, I’m no longer a supplier. After all this time you would think I’ve figured out how to deal with this type of situation but no, all I have figured out is what not to do.
Here they are, seven things not to do with difficult people:
- Don’t fight back, it doesn’t work.
- Don’t jump to your own defence. The DP doesn’t care about you.
- Don’t complain, no one listens.
- Don’t give in, that’s what the DP wants.
- Temporary paralysis is an option but not very effective.
- Don’t sulk. No one likes a pouter.
- Don’t be a martyr, we don’t promote victims.
And tomorrow, the moment you’ve all been waiting for. The answer to the question: What should you do?