images-1Many 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:

  1. Don’t fight back, it doesn’t work.
  2. Don’t jump to your own defence. The DP doesn’t care about you.
  3. Don’t complain, no one listens.
  4. Don’t give in, that’s what the DP wants.
  5. Temporary paralysis is an option but not very effective.
  6. Don’t sulk. No one likes a pouter.
  7. 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?