Tip of the Day: Ways to Deal with Difficult Individuals
Hey Rocky, did you get the license number… of the truck that run over your face?
In a memorable scene from the 1976 movie, Rocky is talking with his loan shark friend Gazzo, when the latter’s driver asks this question.
Trying to calm Rocky’s furious reaction, Gazzo says, “Look Rocky, some people, they just hate for no reason.”
Sometimes, people are difficult simply because of who they are.
It might have nothing at all to do with you. So try not to take it personally — even if, as in the case above, the comment is directed at you. That person might be that way with everyone. Taking such comments personally only makes dealing with that person harder for you.
2: Ask questions rather than make statements
Difficult people often have strong opinions. Sometimes they’re right, but other times they might be wrong. And when they’re wrong, a more effective way to point this out is to ask questions rather than to make statements. By asking questions, you might be able to help the person recognize the issues in his or her own position, with less risk of a confrontation.
3: Have supporting evidence in writing
Are you in a meeting and trying to make a point but getting major resistance from someone? If so, have written documentation that supports your claims. You will have far more credibility if, for example, you can point to a Gartner Group study or TechRepublic whitepaper that supports your choice of a vendor than if you simply state reasons on your own.