Managing difficult people can be time-consuming and emotionally draining. You can’t reason with an unreasonable person. However, there is usually some underlying reason that is motivating them to behave in a difficult manner.
Try to identify the person’s trigger. What is stopping them from co-operating with you? It may be helpful to set up a one-to-one meeting. This gives you the opportunity to ask them what their intentions are. Why do they tend to behave in a difficult manner? Sometimes people just need to feel like they are being listened to.
Perhaps you can agree on what it is you can do to resolve the situation. If this doesn’t work, it can be helpful to let the person know your intentions and what you are trying to achieve. Explain how your objectives and the objectives of the business align and how you need them to work with you in order to move forward – try to build rapport.
Sometimes we rely too heavily on email and instant messaging, we forget to have a conversation with people. Talking gives you and the individual the chance to build a connection, perhaps through discussing non-work-related topics such as hobbies or family.
It can also be useful to get some perspective from others. If an individual is being difficult with you, they may also have been difficult with others. Perhaps your colleagues can help you to see things from a different angle and may even offer ideas in terms of a situation.
If the situation cannot be resolved, it is worth remembering that no one is indispensable. No matter how good they may be at their job, you need to look at what the overall cost is to your business. If other staff are leaving because they are unhappy, it may be best to part ways with your difficult individual and replace them with someone who is easier to work with.
You should always seek guidance from an HR expert before making any large decisions. You do not want to open either yourself or your business to a potential legal claim.
May 23rd, 2019