Difficult people cause all kinds of problems in the workplace and make life miserable for their coworkers. For example, a person who misses deadlines can cause coworkers who are forced to pick up the slack to become resentful. A person who constantly complains can lower morale in the workplace. Being able to deal with a difficult person is a skill that can serve you well in the workplace and can help you avoid or overcome awkward situations.
If you can identify what types of difficult people you’re dealing with, you can better determine what motivates them to behave the way they do. Once you know the motivation for their behavior, you can understand how to deal with and or avoid the issues they cause. However, just because you see someone as difficult doesn’t mean that person necessarily is.
Factors such as gender, race, culture, and religion can affect behavior in the workplace. It’s important to understand these differences and consider them before labeling someone as “difficult.” What may seem offensive to one person may seem completely normal to a person from a different cultural background. For example, one person may see no problem with addressing a superior by the person’s first name. However, someone from a different cultural background may see this as a sign of disrespect.
If you think about it, you can probably think of times when your behavior has caused problems for someone else. Before you can think about a plan for dealing with someone who you feel is being difficult, you should look at your own behavior to see if it could be something you did that’s causing the problem. It may be a good idea to talk over the situation with someone you trust, such as a coworker, friend, or family member. This person may be able to help you determine whether it’s your behavior that needs to change.
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