On Tuesday, September 13 Categories:

Dealing with difficult people is never really difficult if you start by understanding and resolving your own internal triggered states. In this way you can have more empathy for others and facilitate truly remarkable conversations once you are a seasoned veteran at the "trigger recovery process."

People are not difficult; they are simply triggered. When triggered human beings engage in a wide array of irritating behaviors such as being angry, argumentative, self righteous, arrogant, sarcastic, withdrawn, sullen, abrupt - all of which are very difficult to deal with. As long as you have a mindset that someone is difficult they will be more difficult to deal with. (cite confirmation bias literature and self fulfilling prophecy stuff).

There are a lot great example of a companies that have acquired great team development results from seminars, the next will be the example. A mid-management team was highly dysfunctional before they started their monthly sessions together. Conflicts were the order of the day, and resolutions were few and far between. There were personality issues, territorial issues, and competition for resources. This team was a mess.

Experts had been warned about one particular member of the team who was particularly argumentative and closed-minded. From the get-go this individual could be counted on to spend a portion of each meeting in an adversarial relationship.

One day the seminar consultant realized that the relationship with this manager was no better than the relationships he was noticing they had with each other. He decided to shift his perspective about this particular individual. Instead of viewing his behavior as serving to undermine other people's objectives, he viewed what he was doing as actually being a contribution to helping other people openly discuss issues. Knowing that this individual would always "tell it like it is," He began calling on him to weigh in on an issue early in the meeting, which then primed the pump for other people to speak up about things that were bothering them. The consultant then started openly acknowledging this manager for his contributions to their team building efforts.

The consultant then spoke with his manager and encouraged his manager to coach him on how he could be even more effective at delivering his information so that others could hear him.

He genuinely shifted his view of Henry from being "difficult to deal with" to someone who had difficulty expressing his ideas with other people. This was an opportunity for him to help help this man who has a difficulty dealing with coworkers. Instead of having it become personal to the expert, he viewed him as having courage to speak up with some opportunity to be coached on how he could have a greater impact.

Within a couple of months this manager started showing up very differently at meetings. Whereas in the past he would rather abruptly express his opinions, he was now more patient and listened to people more. When he did speak up, there was a different tone in his voice, which enabled even more people to really hear some of his ideas.

This experience taught that "dealing with difficult people" begins with dealing with one's internal difficulties or the conflicts "one has within oneself." This man's behavior, although initially perceived as disruptive, was a function of him being triggered and not knowing any other way of communicating.

The transformation of the relationship with the troubled guy set the stage for other team members to transform their relationships with one another.

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Starquest LLC enhances the lives of others by reducing stress, working with them to improve their collaboration skills, strengthening their communication abilities and to boost their overall performance in work, at home and on the go. They also specialize in dealing with difficult people and help people discover strengths they don't know they possess or have yet to utilize in meaningful ways. Go to StarQuestLLC.com for more info!

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