As leaders we often have to help our employees deal with difficult team members.
In my experience, most of us are not well equipped to deal with difficult people and the (potential) difficult conversations that we may have to have with them.
Because we aren’t well equipped ourselves, we struggle with how to help others.
In my own experience, these are some of the comments other leaders have said directly to me or that have been shared with clients, when asking for advice on how to deal with a difficult person at work:
- “Give it back as good as you get it”
- “They’re not long for this place, just wait it out”
- “Get over it”
- “I’m paying you to make it work”
- “It’s not personal”
- “That’s just the way they are”
- “Whatever doesn’t kill you makes you stronger”
- “I know, everyone else struggles with them too. We just need to try and ignore them”
When our employees are struggling to work with someone because they believe they are difficult it absolutely impairs their performance.
When performance is impaired, organizational results suffer.
There are two things I know for sure:
- There will always be a difficult person at work.
- There are methods for coaching our staff through difficult relationships.
But, most leaders aren’t taught how to have these conversations and do not have the tools to coach their team members on how best to proceed.
As a result, we often fall into ‘fix it’ mode and try to create work arounds and quick solutions. But the bigger problem(s) will prevail.
Mastering this leadership coaching skill is a powerful arrow to add to your quiver.
While many of us just naturally have the ability to coach others through difficult relationships, most of us don’t.
If you’ve found yourself in conversations with team members who don’t know how they can last another day working with (insert name here), then I’d love to encourage you to join my How to Deal with a Difficult Person at Work course.
I know the tools can help you.
I know the tools can help your team.
I really do believe we can change the planet and on a smaller scale, the work environment, if we all take a moment to better understand how best to work with ‘difficult’ people.
Will you join me?