Difficult People at Work
Do you know who are the difficult people and how to handle difficult people at work? They are the smiley types in your office who seem to be friends but, even on ordinary conversations, disagree with you on almost anything and do it with sarcasm.
What Do They Do at Workplace?
In work matters, they question everything you say or do, and are always late for meetings. When they come, they make a big fuss out of small things, disagree with almost everybody, or stay mum the whole time as if saying, “I was not a part of it,” should things go wrong.
- They rarely accept assignments.
- When they do, they do it with a long face.
- Characteristically, they will miss deadlines, if not screw things up altogether.
- Then they blame you for their incompetence.
If they are such a pain overtly, covertly, they are like pit vipers. They spread stories, rumors, innuendos about you, and many more. As if that is not enough, they undermine you in your boss’s eyes.
What to Think Positive?
The bright side is that they are very few in any office. But they can wreak havoc to your day, sap your energy to do something more productive, and drive you up the wall with frustration.
Their antics can range from plain mischief to pestering – like a boil on your butt. You cannot get rid of them, not directly, at least. But you can learn to deflect the darts they throw at you and learn to throw some in return. Here’s how to handle difficult people at work!
4 Secrets on How to Handle Difficult People at Work
Secret #1 – Know if You are the Problem, not They:
It is a difficult pill to swallow. But it is highly possible that they are negatively reacting to the vibrations (or odor) you emit. This is likely to happen if:
- You are new to the organization and are too eager to show your marbles to the old-timers.
- You are suddenly given supervisory responsibilities over people who were your former peers and treating them like serfs.
In any case, step back a little bit to survey the horizon. Don’t try so hard to make an impression. Let things run through their normal course; give a little time to allow your new realities to settle down; establish a groove with them, and find you own fit.
Be one of them, speak their language and observe how they pull the organizational ropes. Don’t worry or fear of blending in and losing your individuality. If you are that good, you will shine, like sunlight puncturing through thick storm clouds. Convinced on how to handle difficult people at work?
If you are still getting some flak after doing this, then go to next secret.
Secret #2: Know What Makes Them Sour-pusses.
People in any organization are generally good (or are they?). Somehow, however, a few will develop the hobby of throwing lemons at people not because they like to, but because their gut is full of the stuff that they need to unload before it spills all over the place. You just happen to be in the line of fire.
These “lemons” could be from personal, financial or relationship problems they could not express in a positive way. They may have some beef against the management or some people they work with; they may have been assigned jobs outside of their competencies.
Organizational dynamics is a complex and ugly monster and those who cannot effectively get hold of it will find a way of expressing their dissatisfaction or frustration in ways inimical to other people’s interests – very much like a brat putting up a tantrum for not having his way or given what he wants.
If you get to know these reasons, you get to know how to make them dance on your palm.
You may have to weather a hailstorm to do this, and, surely, you will not be able to help them rid all their demons. However, lending a sympathetic ear can open doors you never even knew existed.
Secret #3: Make a Pre-op Plan
You can make a pre-op with the few remaining hostiles in your office; those who have frustrated your every move to reach out and be a friend.
Start ignoring them. Unless you must, say nothing, hear nothing or see nothing when in their presence.
Remember the saying, “Sticks and stones may break my bones but names will never hurt me.” Being ignored hurts like a loud slap on the face.
Sadly, you cannot do this with the people under you. Still you are worried over how to handle difficult people at work? Read next secret.
Secret #4: Start Flexing Your Muscles:
Everything has a breaking point – even and especially your patience. Don’t go beyond that point, however.
When all of the above fail, flex your muscles by asserting yourself.
Show them that you are no push-over; that you’ve got some marbles they don’t have; that you are as valuable to the organization as they, and that you are here to stay whether they like it or not.
Impress upon them that you are who are you and could never be what they want you to be; that you can be their friend, but on your own terms, not theirs.
In an assertive manner, deliver your message in ways difficult to miss, impossible to ignore.