Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Handling difficult people at work

Difficult people and situations exist in every work place. These people in particular, sometimes can cause tremendous stress directly or indirectly to those people working with them.

Dealing with difficult people is easier when the person is just generally obnoxious or when the behavior affects more than one person. Dealing with difficult people is much tougher when they are attacking you or undermining your professional contribution.

These people are usually well too arrogant. No matter what anyone says or does, this person will force their ideas on everyone else. There can be no open discussion or involvement. Things MUST be done this person’s way or else.

I just had very good experience working with one of these people in my previous project. His main problem is, he will never listen. And what made it worse was, he’s the “owner” of this project and so he’s like the boss! To him, everyone else are just the supporting actors & actresses, he’s the only person to make this deal happen! He likes to instruct and does not take suggestions (at least not from me). Maybe he does accept suggestion when it comes from someone else and not me, cause to him I’m just an admin person not adding much value to the whole project. So then throughout the period working on this project, I can sense that my work & effort were not being appreciated.

I did have few fights with him, trying to explain certain processes to him, and trying to make him understand the practicality, but he refused to. When he works over the weekend, he’s expecting everyone else to work over the weekend without advance notice. Some of us, being on the job, have had certain expectation to work long hours or even over the weekend, but what about other people involved along the process?

Anyhow, the nightmare is now over, and I really hope I wont need to work with this person again. And from the experience, I did get some tips for dealing with people like this, so am sharing them with u….

  1. When you see someone go into attack mode or excess defensiveness, recognize that it is useless to argue with them.
  2. Realize that the person is feeling very insecure at that time.
  3. Don’t continue to push them because they will only get worse.
  4. If the symptoms only seem to occur when the person is under stress, wait until another time to pursue the discussion.
  5. If they are always overly defensive or always attacking others, you may need to find another person with higher authority or someone this person respects to communicate the message.
  6. Keep your own sense of self-confidence and don't allow yourself to be verbally abused.

Just my 2cents worth…


cbenc12 said...

so far i am quite lucky at work. have some unhappy moments working with certain colleagues but it's not bad..nothing major.. =)
u certainly did learn a lot and good tips! thanks~!

Dio Brando said...

Good Tip... I have worked with many ppl before but so far do not have any bad experience like your

sharlydia said...

cbenc12 - it's more like these "difficult" pple has "forced" me to improve lor...

dio - u'r very lucky! there are many of these pple in my company!

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