Working With Difficult People: – A Few Tips to Follow

Do you find working with difficult people frustrating? Do you want to address these situations with less drama and concern? Then take a look at the following tips to deal with difficult people efficiently.

Meet Them in Private

Confronting anyone in public may not be a good approach as it might make them feel insulted. Therefore, be conscious of their feelings and meet with them in private to avoid defensive responses. It will also help in developing an understanding between the two of you.

Give Them The Benefit Of Doubt

Make sure you do not begin the conversations with accusations, instead try to be open-minded while addressing the issue. Also be curious about the situation. Be there with an open mind and with an attitude to help. Come with questions to understand. It is an initial way to approach the situation offering you the opportunity for clearing up things without putting the relationship in danger.

Address One Issue At A Time

Do not complicate the situation by bringing up a host of issues. Focus on the main thing.  Address it and then move on as appropriate. Keep the conversation to one topic at a time.

Do not Expect Immediate Resolutions

If you are speaking with someone about their behavior that troubles you, then make sure not to rush the conversation. You can pick some other time to revisit and discuss that topic if the tension escalates. And never expect to achieve immediate resolutions. Practice patience, perspective, and wisdom.

Working with Difficult People

Keep Calm and Be Objective

Initiate listening actively as a starting point. When starting the conversation after you have waited a while by giving active listening a chance, consider how to bring up the  topic that is bothering you. Examine yourself. Explore your own emotions. Are you ready to proceed in a calm, competent and confident manner? Remember emotional outbursts can worsen the issue, so you must keep negative emotions in check. Be as calm and objective as possible. And if you are on the receiving end of the confrontation, make sure to follow the QT IP rule i.e. Quit Taking It Personally. Do not take it personally. However, if you feel like you are being attacked personally then consider the source. Usually, personal attacking individuals are insecure and hence are belittling you for making themselves feel better. In such situations you need to allow them to get away with it and do not aggravate the issue by reacting back.

Ask Questions that Are Clarifying

By asking clarifying questions you can improve the understanding and encourage two-way discussion. Summarize what the other person is saying, to show that you are understanding. For instance, you can ask them questions such as : – “So do you think without proper research the project can be carried out?… Can you please explain?” Make sure not to ask questions that will make the other person feel attacked. Keep in mind that your goal is to preserve the relationship. You want to understand the situation and why.

These are some tips to work with difficult people efficiently. You will come across a variety of people at your workplace. Tolerance is often necessary, however when behavior crosses the line make sure to speak up your mind at an appropriate time and place: … Conversing is the key to keeping issues at bay. However, if you feel like the situation is out of your hands, you can involve a professional and qualified mediator who can make the entire process effective and easier.


Michael Gregory at Michael Gregory Consulting, LLC is a renowned and qualified  mediator and negotiator who can help you in working with difficult people at work place. For more information visit