|How to Handle Difficult
A bully at your work is difficult for you
to face. He is demanding you do part of his job without pay or credit.
How do you handle it?
Your neighbors are constantly fighting.
They wake you up in the middle of the night with their screams and
curses. What do you say to them?
Your father is unhappy about your career
choice. He constantly criticizes your work and points out what he thinks
you should do. How do you deal with him?
Difficult situations are part of everyone’s
life. Employers and employees can’t get along. Partners clash over
money. Spouses cannot resolve disagreements.
If you ignore these situations, they
always get worse. Employees get fired, partnerships and marriages break
up, everyone is miserable.
Waiting and worrying, the most common
"solution," also allows the problem to get worse while giving
you stress and shortening your life span.
If you attack the person, at least you
are trying to fix the problem. But attacks, rage or irrational anger
gives you a bad name, makes people afraid of you and reduces honest
Disconnecting from the problem or from
the person is not always wise or practical. Losing employees, supporters
and friends because you needlessly disassociate from them may reduce
your stress, but you might also become lonely and poor.
The Best Solution Is to Confront and
"The ability to stand up to and
confront and handle whatever comes the way of the organization depends
utterly on the ability of the individuals of the organization to stand
up to, confront and handle what comes the individual's way." —
L. Ron Hubbard
When you face and resolve the problem
yourself, you feel wonderful. You are in control of your life. You not
only conquer the opposition, you conquer your fear. Few accomplishments
are more satisfying than confronting someone who is difficult to face
and handling the conflict.
How to Confront and Handle Someone
By getting organized and working out a
plan of action, confronting and handling people becomes much easier. The
key is your preparation.
"THE SUCCESS OF ANY
EVENT IS DIRECTLY PROPORTIONAL TO THE TIMELY PREPARATION."
— L. Ron Hubbard
Follow these seven steps to prepare
yourself for dealing with the difficult people in your life.
1. Make the decision to face up to the
person directly and by yourself.
2. Write down the exact problem you
need to handle and your goal for the confrontation.
Examples of problems to be confronted
that you might write down:
"Joe is refusing to pay me despite
"Chris is hurting office morale and
causing me stress with her continual complaining."
"Bob is supposedly telling people
that my work is inferior and I am dishonest."
Once you specifically name or identify
the problem, write down a goal for the meeting. "By the end of
the meeting, I want . . . ."
Examples of goals or objectives you might
want as a result of a confrontation:
"Joe pays me in full."
"Chris stops complaining or
"Learn the truth about Bob’s
comments and if true, get him to stop it."
In some cases, your objective may also
"Figure out if I want this person as
3. Write down a Plan or List of Points
You Need to Make to Support Your Goal: Facts, Reasons and
explanations you may need the other person to understand. List the
points in order of priority or importance.
For example, to get Joe to understand why
he must pay you, you might make these points:
A. Joe requested the service.
B. Joe signed an agreement to pay for
C. We provided the service as promised.
D. Joe was happy with the service.
4. Write down objections, reactions or
disagreements the other person may have. Include everything you are
afraid might happen during the meeting. Putting specific concerns and
fears in writing reduces their impact on you.
For each objection, reaction or
disagreement you expect will happen, write a solution of how you will
deal with each.
5. Organize your notes and gather
6. Arrange the meeting where you will
not be disturbed, preferably in a space you control.
7. Start the meeting.
A. Look the person directly in the eye.
B. Explain the specific problem you
want to resolve as you noted in Step 2.
C. Go over your first point on the list
from Step 3.
D. Listen carefully to the other person
and make certain they feel understood.
E. Hold a position on your points.
F. Use your solutions to their
reactions as you worked out in Step 4.
G. Continue describing your points and
listening to the person's side.
H. Do not give up. Communicate and
persist for as long as it takes to reach your goal.
The more frequently you confront and
handle difficult people, the easier it becomes. The amount
of time it takes to prepare for a confrontation decreases. You become
strong and tough.
When you confront and handle everyone
around you, people respect you for your courage, your honesty and your
control. Your associates, employees or coworkers follow your example and
become more productive. Your enemies either become harmless or become
Taking positive organized action, despite
fear, is the kind of courage all successful people must have to succeed.