Keeping Control When Dealing With Difficult People

by on June 30, 2009 · 0 Comment POSTED IN: HR Info Center

Dealing with difficult people means controlling yourself, not them

There is a frustration level as management where there were days you just want to say, “Just cut the drama. Do your job.” Many of us in management were promoted because we have this kind of work ethic. We just came to work, did our job with good work ethic. We were technically good at our jobs thus we got promoted into management.

Some employees, however, don’t seem to be motivated. Or perhaps they are motivated, but they may not be motivated in the direction you want them to go. Part of dealing with difficult people is to understand where their difficulty comes from.

When dealing with difficult people, remember what you control and what you do not. You can not control difficult people; you cannot control gossip in the workplace. You could pull out the old “Do your job or else.” But, if you start to do that on an ongoing basis, you’ll end up with nobody left.

You especially can’t control this generation of employees. You can’t threaten them with pay, firing, or disciplinary procedures. They don’t tolerate that. They say, “You know, life is too short. I’m not going to work here anymore.” What you can control, as a manager, is your atmosphere and your reaction when dealing with difficult people and gossip in the workplace. And, to help you control your atmosphere and reactions, you must understand what motivates negativity and gossip in the workplace. If you start to understand what’s going on, you can create a positive or neutral atmosphere.

Beware of how easy it is to succumb when dealing with difficult people. Some managers hate their environment, hate the drama, and let the gossip and negativity take over. They see it all as a waste of time and leave. They don’t understand it’s impossible to control employees. Simply, understand what you can to control your reaction to a negative situation.

Edited Remarks From “Gossip, Gab and the Grapevine: How to Neutralize Its Negative Impact” by Hunter Lott

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