Dealing with difficult people happens to everyone. More than likely it happens to you on a daily basis. Just search on Twitter and you'll come across many feeds that reference this topic. Click here to see a picture of one feed, referring to "rude vendors."
I can openly say that I have and still make these mistakes, when letting difficult people get to me. It will always take a conscious effort on my part. As business professionals one of our main goals should be to work with people that make our life easier, but that isn't always the case.
Is it worth dealing with these people? Well, it's all based on how you want to FEEL and what the added benefits are through dealing with them. Personally, if I work with a difficult vendor I will do everything I can to not deal with them again…unless I have no other choice.
If you have to deal with difficult people focus on these 3 areas that are common mistakes and it just might make your life a little easier.
You Become Defensive
When dealing with difficult people it can be a natural instinct to defend yourself. If they attack, judge and belittle you, why wouldn't you defend yourself.
But the truth is, once you become defensive, two opposing forces will be FIGHTING each other rather than gaining ground on what's to be accomplished.
No resolution comes from a defensive state.
If you know nothing good will come out of your mouth…take some deep breaths. This will allow you to refocus and think rationally.
Instead of becoming defensive, stay positive and take deep breaths. Yes, this may sound too simple but it works.
You Don't Listen
I'll just toss a number out but I can be certain that 90% of all disagreements are made by one, or both parties not listening to the other. We come across this more frequently than we should.
Listening is one of the best skills anyone can include in their tool kit, especially when dealing with difficult people.
By actively listening, you can understand where the other person is coming from. If it's a vendor, this may be a GREAT time to see that there may be a flaw somewhere in their business. Disagreements are excellent to learn from.
Not all difficult people are the same. By listening you can weed out the people that have legitimate concerns from the people that you won't be able to work with.
You Avoid Solutions
Sometimes, when you deal with difficult people you think of everything but a solution. You're saying to yourself "this vendor is annoying" or "what a pain."
These may be true, but try to present a solution. By presenting a solution you are showing the other party you're trying to correct the issue they have. You are actively engaging in the resolution to the problem and most people will respect that.
When you understand the mistakes you make when dealing with people, it will only make you stronger the next time a difficult person comes along.
Conflict and difficult people can be a major contributor to your stress levels. The effects of stress makes you less efficient and can disrupt everything you have going on.