How to handle difficult people ?

How do you handle difficult and even strange people ? The type who is really touchy, really hard to please type? To make the matter worse, the person can be really offended by the slightest ‘detest’ (I heard it could be anything from accidentally placing a wrong post it note on the board to something that the person thinks is an eye sore when most people do not think it is…)
so what would you recommand ? If I confront, it makes me look like I am courting further woes since the person, is well known to be very difficult to come back to friendly terms once the person dislikes you. To say sorry seems to be a better way. Take 2 steps back may well be a solution. But I am not too sure if it will save problems. The person may think I am a nuisance. All I know is I am in tough luck to handle this kind of person when this person is also known to be pretty vengeful and ambitious. Very tough decision I think. It does appear that which ever direction I take its pretty much a problem. What a week !!

That sounds bad. I hope that you are not one of the people that works with me. If the person is talented, good at their job, or related to the boss, the best thing to do is to try to work it out. If they suck then it is less of an issue as they will probably not last.

It seems like you are working with a person that wants to be heard. i would try to encorage them to give you their opinion and then just listen.

nah don’t worry. I don’t work for you unless you want to hire me from the equator.

Anyway I have got another day to think of a plan. I think I might choose to cave in and shrink the problem down. I admit its bad. But somehow when things do wrong I am the one who is asked to do the crap…

ha ha ha… what a life…

How would I handle the guy, take him out for a beer and ask him point blank what bug was up his ass.

erm… thats a little too … you know… might blow up the issue wouldn’t it ?

Situation is screwed up now, whats to lose your job?


I should have added that
I am only asked to be mediator.
Its really nothing to do with me.

So your job is not at risk, and as a mediator one of your tasks is to define the problem ( ie what bug is up his ass) so there is a formal method that appears to have not worked or the informal one that is yet to be tried.
Given that I would still take the bloke out for a beer and ask him what bug crawled up his ass.

yeah, i’d agree w/ zippyflounder…

except i’d replace the word ‘bug’ with ‘issue’
and the words ‘was up his ass’ with ‘was causing him concern and why’

i’d also get him to pay.

No, “we” asked him, protocal dictates we pay :laughing:

what I usually do is I first treat the person like what you people do and ‘joke’ for an answer why the problem…
if that doesn’t work its direct confrontation in a public meeting.

Having said that, I hate doing these kind of things.
On the bright side, i gain more experience in handling people…
and the more I deal with such people, the more I understand what patience and tact means.

anyway, i got that settled though I get the feeling I would be asked to do this people handling task again <!>

Know he first .Then smile,tell he what service or profit you could provide to him,and then tell he you need what from him.I think everything put on paper directly maybe better.If your customer is a girl,pls consider a handsome boy to handle her,otherwise,consider a pretty girl…

dealing with a difficult person requires reconnaissance. you learn the person’s habits, strengths and weaknesses. then you start picking your battles. you don’t want to ambush, but you start to gradually challenge the person and wait for the opportune time to pour it on. take the bull by the horns if you will. you can’t be afraid of confrontation, but you need to maintain professionalism above all else.

ah…now I see how this is done. (its another case I am having)
its strange that opposites are sort problems out. But if the person stops listening then we have a more difficult problem …

well said !
taking the bulls by the horns is the last thing i would do.
I think perhaps patience may be another step before the direct confrontation with all the facts laid on the table.

how about a swift kick in the nuts? not exactly ghandi-style, but always effective.

kicking nuts may work temporarily but not a long term solution. I am mastering another method : let the bastards do all the barking and remain aloof. Chances are the problems will sort themselves out.

difficult people for me? I typically tease them till they submit. Never works but I get to choose the people I work with.

Sometimes we end up friends and sometimes they hate me for life. For me difficult people are not problem solvers and or are lazy or they don’t do their job.

Bart, teasing is one good way. If they don’t bend, they can choose to break.

The other way that I realise is to ignore people’s bad points and just focus on the good. It works most times. However there are still that couple of people who can be really really very very difficult to handle and are potential problems. The ones who can be very paranoid and vengeful.