Speaking to difficult people

11 Sep Speaking to difficult people


The thing about office work is that we don’t get to choose who else shows up everyday. We are enclosed in a confined space with a bunch of people who we don’t necessarily like…. for up to 10 hours a day! Chances are there will be someone who irritates you. Here are 3 communication tips for when you need to interact with the annoyer:

1. Before you speak to TAP (The Annoying Person), think about 1 good quality of theirs – perhaps when they once helped you to complete a document, or offered a decent piece of advice (even if it was 2 years ago). Doing this will change the energy that you give off when speaking to them. Like it or not we are animals and we can sense when someone doesn’t like us – the best way to mask your feelings is to think kindly about TAP (at least for a brief period).

2. If TAP has said something that you don’t not agree with, try this:
a. Acknowledge their point of view and commend it. For example: ‘That is a great point, I see where you are coming from.’
b. Suggest another way of looking at the situation without making it seem like you want to ‘win’.
c. Finish the conversation with a positive about their point of view, even if it is to say thank you for sharing the idea.

3. Remember that you and the annoying person have the exact same goal – to succeed in your roles. Being successful in your job means getting along with your team, at least on a professional level. If you remember that you are both trying to accomplish the same goal – your tolerance for annoyance will increase.

Helpful? Comments are welcome….