We all sometimes find ourselves in extremely uncomfortable situations when our work comes to a grinding halt because of a tense interaction between coworkers. Having miscommunications and disagreements is just a normal part of being human and working in close concert with other people, but this phenomenon can be much more uncomfortable and distracting when you are dealing with difficult people.
As a manager, the task falls to you to try to smooth over any controversies and help move projects forward in a more productive direction. Such a skill comes naturally for some, but others may benefit from learning more directly about how to deal with such situations through a course such as EDSI’s Dealing with Difficult People course.
This course helps to develop important managerial skills in conflict resolution. For example, when dealing with difficult people, it is important to value your employees while simultaneously critiquing their behavior. This can be a difficult thing to do without proper training or experience. It is important to smooth out problematic employee behavior before it becomes a big issue, because it could cause problems with employee morale and ultimately talent retention.
One of the strategies you may wish to employ is giving each employee an online personality test to help them see their own strengths and weaknesses. Discuss the results with your employees on an individual basis, and help them each to take personal accountability for building upon their own strengths and improving their own weaknesses.
If an online personality test is not they key to success for employees in your department, then the Dealing with Difficult People course will give you other ideas about how to best navigate this tricky terrain. In the meantime, here are a few tips to get you started.
8 Tips for Dealing with Difficult People
1. Focus on problematic behavior rather than on the person himself.
2. Don’t take work problems personally.
3. Check your pride and your temper at the door.
4. Consult an unbiased outsider for advice.
5. Reassign projects to groups of employees that work better together.
6. Keep notes of your concerns to discuss during the performance review process.
7. Promote an atmosphere of collegiality rather than competition.
8. Talk privately with difficult employees to discover more about what is causing the problematic behavior.
What are your personal tips for managing challenging people?