Communicating With Difficult People.

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Communicating With Difficult People.

Encourager-In-Chief: September 18th, 2019

Winning over anyone in any situation.

Today’s blog is written by my guest speaker, Lisa Murray, who will be presenting her seminar, “Communicating with Difficult People” on October 3, 2019 from 9 am to 12 noon at the comfort Suites in Manheim, PA.

Most of us have encountered people that are just plain difficult. They are difficult to talk to, collaborate with, get results from, work with on a team, so on, and so on. You get the idea and you are probably already thinking about someone who fits this description. Knowing how to handle difficult people is a key factor in being able to preserve your professional and personal integrity. Here are a few simple tricks that will help you feel empowered to deal with these difficult situations even when they are unexpected.

Tip #1 - Be aware of your tone and body language.

Difficult people tend to make us feel frustrated, irritated and annoyed and our gestures and tone may send that clear message. We may elevate our voice, cross our arms, or give less eye contact. Learning how to use assertive gestures and tones will prepare you when you need to stay in control, in the moment. Stand squarely and firmly in place, and face the individual. Keep your hands at your side or in another open position. Nod, let the person know you are listening, and hold eye contact for a reasonable amount of time, about four seconds, before looking away for a moment.

Tip #2 - Stay calm and in control of strong emotions.

When strong emotions strike, people with high emotional intelligence are able to manage them and stay focused. Although difficult people can bring drama and their own strong emotion into the equation, it will be your job to focus on staying calm and collected. Pause six seconds before responding and this brief time will allow your brain the opportunity to come up with a less reactive response.

Tip #3 - Paraphrase and use empathy!

Empathy, not sympathy, helps people move on and can disengage them from high conflict. Empathy can be used when you paraphrase what you have heard the other person say and, with that, you may be able to identify their feelings. For example, “Grant, I want to make sure I understand your position on this. You believe that the deadline is too short and you will need more time to get the project done with your team because of some of the factors you mentioned. You are upset because you didn’t feel heard at the last team meeting. Is that correct?” You will be amazed at how powerful the use of paraphrasing with empathy (active listening) is when you use it regularly. It can quickly disarm the very difficult person!

Communicating with challenging or difficult people is never fun. Feeling more empowered and equipped with the tools to successfully manage these situations, will help you to reach win-win solutions. You win because, as you use these skills, you will experience less stress, become more confident, and have better workplace relationships. Difficult people, although not the most popular in the workplace, may just recognize your efforts to allow them to speak their mind while also showing them your desire to get clarification and understanding. And that is a win in any situation!

For more information on this topic, I invite you to register for Lisa’s seminar on October 3, 2019 at the Comfort Suites in Manheim, PA.

Communicating with Difficult People


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