Dealing with difficult individuals

“Eventually we will find (mostly in retrospect, of course) that we can be very grateful to those people who have made life most difficult for us.” Ayya Kheme

All of us have been in situations where we have had to deal with difficult individuals. These are not the easiest of situations to handle, and hence great care must be taken. I was watching the apprentice a couple of days ago, the episode that had the fireworks between Omarosa and Piers. For those who have not watched this episode, Omarosa has an aggressive and combative personality, Piers is an alpha male with a very strong personality too. Unfortunately both of them do not get along well, and Omarosa made it very difficult for Piers when he was project manager on a task. Much can be learnt from this episode regarding how to, and how not to, handle such situations.

Often we have to deal with difficult bosses, team mates, customers and suppliers. This is just part of life and something we cannot escape. I believe avoiding such situations only makes the situation worse and restricts one from operating optimally. We have to tackle the problem head on, and work towards establishing a situation where both individuals can work optimally. This is usually an uncomfortable route to take, I have had my share of them. Looking back at past experiences I have learnt tremendously from such situations. These are situations that help us understand our thresholds, emotional triggers and personality type a lot more when facing them.

Over the next week I will be writing about my experiences in dealing with difficult individuals. The series aims to serve as a guide and help readers through similar situations, by providing tips on how to deal with them. I am also interested in learning from readers about their experiences with difficult people and what strategies they have used to handle such situations. I look forward to comments and feedback.

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