Ugh, Bob in accounting is so difficult to work with. Man, Sally in sales won’t do her work. These people are so hard to deal with.
You may hear these types of complaints from your team. They’re trying to work hard but can’t get their jobs done. All they see are the problems the Bobs and Sallys are creating.
It’s a trainwreck.
But it’s not. Did you know you can succeed with difficult people? You can, and it’s not that difficult.
Dealing With Difficult People
The first thing that comes to mind when you have to deal with difficult people is to put them in their place or, as Donald Trump was known for saying, you’re fired. That’s the easy route. There’s a better route to take when dealing with difficult people.
The thing great leaders do when dealing with difficult people is to find common ground.
They look for areas where the difficult person and themselves can connect. Finding common ground creates a personal connection. One the leader can cultivate and bring the difficult person around.
When leaders put themselves in the place of the difficult person, the leader often grows. They see why the person is difficult. They understand there are more things happening in the organization than bad attitudes.
Find a way to connect with the difficult people you lead. You’re going to discover a lot of information you were lacking before.
Leaders also look for ways to plug these difficult people into work situations they actually enjoy. Part of the issue with difficult people is that they may be being underutilized, not adequately resourced, or in an area they know nothing about.
You may be able to find a better fit for the employee by shifting their positions. And the organization becomes better.
Don’t let your disdain for a difficult person or situation make you get rid of a potentially fantastic employee. Instead, become empathetic. Find out what is happening. Put yourself in the place of the employee.
Your viewpoint may change. You may now see the employee as an ally, friend, and great coworker.
The possibilities are endless when you deal positively with a difficult person.