It can feel quite challenging to be productive even when you are faced with a situation where you are working with difficult people. Oftentimes we may feel that the job at hand is hard enough without someone making it just a little bit harder. However, dealing with difficult people isn’t just part of life, as it is also a key part of success. If you want to achieve your goals, you’ll need to learn how to be productive even if difficult individuals surround you.
The first step of course is mental discipline. Dealing with difficult people means maintaining a positive outlook. But how can you achieve this disposition when you are surrounded by negativity? The simplest and most effective strategy is to stay focused on what you are looking to achieve. Keeping your mind on your goals, both short term and long term, will help you tremendously when dealing with difficult individuals on a daily basis. You may find that it is necessary to write down your short term and long-term goals and review that list periodically.
Further, keep in mind that with a little thought and planning, you might be able to defuse the anger or irritating qualities of these individuals who you must deal with regularly. This must be handled on a case by case basis. However, analyzing why people may be upset and then working to devise strategies to deal with them could save you a great deal of trouble and hassle. For example, is the difficult person unhappy with his or her life? Does this person have low-self esteem? Perhaps you can try listening more and asking questions to get to the root of the matter.
Armed with such strategies, you could find ways to reduce, minimize or even eliminate some of the problems you face from others. Properly understanding your environment and the problems and motivations of those around you gives you an opportunity to devise strategies to deflect and control the anger or difficult behavior of others.
By adopting these strategies, it is possible for you to handle conflict in a constructive manner that can give you good long-term results and make your life easier in the process. However, making this approach work means that you need to stay calm and focused. You also must try to keep the issues and concerns of others firmly fixed in your mind. Is this easy to do? The answer is, of course, not at first, at least not for most people. Yet, it is important to keep the alternatives in mind. If you do not effectively deal with the negative people in your life, you will end up suffering. The bottom line is that to achieve your goals you will need to effectively deal with the negativity of others.
Dr. Madeline Ann Lewis is the President/CEO of the Deline Institute for Professional Development (www.delineinstitute.net) in Maryland. She is a career strategist, speaker, and the author of Finding Your Best Inside: How to Become the Person You Are Meant to Be and Playing from the Blue Tee: Women in the Federal Government. Reach her at 301-693-3284 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com .
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