30 Minutes to Deal with Difficult People (30 Minutes) by Cary L. Cooper, Suzan Lewis

By Cary L. Cooper, Suzan Lewis

This article offers pointers on facing tough staff and employers tactfully and successfully.

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In this state of affairs their level of self-esteem is damaged and they become angry with themselves. Use of aggression in response to a situation is energy-demanding since the body is required to remain in a high state of physical and psychological alert, and in the long-term, this can cause problems associated with elevated blood pressure. Consequences of aggressive behaviour in the workplace From the above it becomes clear why aggressive people are regarded by work colleagues as ‘difficult’ and how they cause others to feel upset, angry, anxious and lacking in self-worth.

56 6 ACTION PLANNING The first step in action planning is to undertake an accurate diagnosis of the problem. Self-assessment and analysis of the perceived problem can be carried out by using the questionnaires in this book; by keeping a daily log of behaviour, interactions and critical events; or by eliciting feedback from others. Actively encouraging constructive feedback about your own behaviour towards other people in the workplace can be a powerful motivation to change. Indeed, if we can adopt this strategy with our colleagues, it is likely that they will reciprocate and thereby provide us with an opportunity to provide them with feedback about aspects of their behaviour which we find difficult and which has some negative impact on our own performance, well-being or quality of work life.

However, you also have the right not to be put down, humiliated, or criticized in front of other people. 43 Coping With Difficult People If you become angry, annoyed or scared, it is likely that you will fail to listen to what is being said during the interaction and will react inappropriately. Try to relax by taking a few deep breaths. This will also prevent you from speaking too soon and will ensure that you are clear about what is being said about your behaviour or performance. If the criticism is vague or ambiguous, ask the person to be more specific and if necessary to quote actual examples.

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