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Tips to deal with difficult people at work

In every workplace, you may find Difficult co-workers which includes seniors, peers and even juniors. One can also include clients in this list. Sometimes it becomes very difficult dealing with each of them depending on the situation.

We often try to change or wish for a change in the other person for a better handling of the situation. This happens very rarely and usually possible in case of juniors.

Here are some tips to dealing with such people who constantly make your life difficult especially at work.

1. Always be calm

Don’t lose your temper. Sometimes this can be okay with juniors but otherwise it is not the most effective response to a difficult person. By doing so one loses whatever chance we have of collaboration and getting any useful result. Holding your temper and remaining calm gives you the strength to deal with it. It also puts the other person on the defensive. Importantly it allows you to listen effectively which is essential to come out with an appropriate response. The other person also respects the fact that he  or she is being listened to despite being a difficult person.

2. Understand the person’s intentions

Understanding a person intention. Every such person will have a different reason to be who they are or try to be. Most of the time by aggressive responses we effectively lose the understanding and at the same time create a negative impression among other people at the workplace.         

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3.  Get some perspectives from other people

If you find yourself unable to handle a person despite your best efforts, it is better to talk to some of your colleagues, seniors, at your workplace. They will be able to provide you with a completely different perspective about the person which you did not have or an experience which they had at dealing with such people. Either way it enhances your knowledge and equips you with a better way of dealing with such people.

4. Let the person know where you are coming from

Usually we are so caught up with the other person and his problem that we do not spare time in sharing our point of view.  Explain our viewpoint and the reasons behind our actions can help the other person open up to us and break the resistance which we are facing.

5. Treat the person with respect

In this world, no one likes to be treated like he or she is stupid or incapable or incompetent. Don’t be surprised if you get thought of responded in the same way. So, respect everyone at the workspace. Every person has their own skill sets, knowledge and needs to be respected for that. Some people may target to hurt your self-respect, stay away from them and don’t take them seriously.

6.  Ignore and focus on what can be actioned upon

Despite being polite and respecting everyone we find some people do not respond correctly then just ignore them. Don’t take them seriously

without listening to them. Just ignore them. Focus on what you can do.

These are some of the essential tips on how to handle Difficult Situation or person in working environment. Every person mentality and character will be different, but most of the time they will respond to the way we treat them. “Coming together is a beginning, keeping together is progress, working together is success” – if every person understands this there will no problem of difficult situation.

A business coach or a motivational speaker can make you better understand importance of effectiveness at work place and how it can help you to deal with difficult person or situations. Rajan Sampath executive coach in Bangalore conducts workshops on skills required to improve personal and team effectiveness and improving productivity and workplace. To book a session with him visit

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Tips to deal with difficult people at work


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