Defuse Difficult People

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Dealing with tough personalities can make you feel powerless. What can you do if your client is a being a jerk or your colleague is criticizing your presentation? You can improve the situation by doing three things:

  • Shift the attention. Focus on your own feelings. Say something like, “I feel terrible because I know this meeting is critical and I really believe in my proposal.” This helps you to keep the criticism external so you can respond thoughtfully.
  • Respond with a non-judgmental observation. Attacking back only escalates the situation. A statement like the one above disarms the other person and often he’ll back off.
  • Ask a thoughtful question. For example, if a client keeps taking calls during your presentation you might say, “I know you’re busy – is there a reason I’m not capturing your attention?” A question helps the other person become more aware of his behavior, and he might change it.

Adapted from “Defuse Difficult People” by Nina Godiwalla.

28 comments
KatCebreiros
KatCebreiros

@thessalyx @ynavanessa @cylix1909 @acidt3st yun!

xiauya
xiauya

こうできなくても、こういう事を思うだけで、結構上手く行く。“@TIME: How to deal with difficult people | http://t.co/tobnlEBR (via @TIMEBusiness)”

MatreshkaCats
MatreshkaCats

@mthasia why isnt kill the client at the top of the list. i like that approach better.

Iwisp
Iwisp

“@TIME: How to deal with difficult people | http://t.co/gTVWvwlJ (via @TIMEBusiness)” FINALLY I CAN LEARN HOW TO DEAL WITH MYSELF UGHALJSH

lifesmandarin
lifesmandarin

@TIME @TIMEBusiness How do ppl deal w/ you then.

messyx0x0
messyx0x0

@gaynor_kast @TIMEBusiness loved it thanks for sharing going to use the cell fone one (I need to capture your attention )

lifesmandarin
lifesmandarin

@TIME @TIMEBusiness How do ppl death w/ you then.

OmgItsBettie
OmgItsBettie

@TIME @TIMEBusiness Don't deal with them. Who has time for that? But if it's in the workplace, just ignore them and keep it professional.

stranger_buddy
stranger_buddy

@_witty_n_wise_ U r welcome ! Have u read Steve Jobs biography?

mthasia
mthasia

@MatreshkaCats cause it NOT DEALING!! that is ELIMINATING!!!!!

gaynor_kast
gaynor_kast

@messyx0x0 have you noticed how tricky the work world has become of late? It's like walking into a war-zone at the best of times.

messyx0x0
messyx0x0

@gaynor_kast been a lawyer I totally understand the play of words but always room for improvement

stranger_buddy
stranger_buddy

@_witty_n_wise_ yes , u must read it.a true source of inspiration and dedication.

mthasia
mthasia

@MatreshkaCats violence is not good at workplace!

messyx0x0
messyx0x0

@gaynor_kast agree we live in a world we people only think of them self sad yet true (courtesy ,respect should be instilled at a young age )

gaynor_kast
gaynor_kast

@messyx0x0 it shouldn't be that way if we treat each other with common courtesy/ respect.