How to deal with difficult peers

Sometimes in our careers we come across & have to work with ‘difficult’ peers. The best way to deal with them will ultimately depend on your preferred style of communication and also their preferred style. I have however listed a few tips and guidelines;

  • Step away from the situation and reflect. (The less reactive you are, the more you can use your better judgment to handle the situation).Think about how you would articulate what it is about the person you are finding difficult. I sometimes use the AIM tool when discussing something I have observed that has caused me concern. AIM = Action, Impact & Modification.

  • Do you feel comfortable discussing the matter directly with the person? If not, seek out an HR person or your manager and explain the situation. They can coach you through the conversation, or address the issue with you and the other person either together or separately.

  • It’s important that you do deal with them though. Setting boundaries around what is acceptable and not acceptable behavior is important in establishing respect and credibility in the work place. Also, your situation won’t get better; left unaddressed, it usually gets worse.

  • Finally, have a little empathy – this is a useful tool/emotion that allows you to better understand their motivations for the behavior they are displaying. Ask yourself, would I behave like that under the circumstances? People do what they do because of them more than because of us. Widening our perspective on the situation can reduce the possibility of misunderstanding.

Take a look at this too for some helpful tips

http://hbr.org/web/management-tip/tips-on-managing-difficult-people

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