Almost everyone encounters a difficult person now and then in personal and professional life. The best defense against conflict in such a situation is to be prepared for interacting with difficult individuals.
1. Be honest and direct.
State your concern from your perspective, for example:
- I have a hard time concentrating when …
- I can’t meet my deadlines if …
- It’s hard for me to be positive when …
2. Listen carefully.
- Listen to what the other person is saying instead of getting ready to react.
- Avoid interrupting the other person.
- After the other person finishes speaking, rephrase what was said to make sure you understand it.
3. Avoid blaming.
Focus on the facts. Finding fault can prevent problem-solving.
4. Stay focused.
- Discuss particulars; avoid generalizing.
- Avoid getting sidetracked into discussing other problems.
- Keep bringing the conversation back to the concern you’ve stated.
5. Say less.
After you state the problem, allow silence until the other person responds.