By Cary L. Cooper, Suzan Lewis

This article offers tips about facing tricky staff and employers tactfully and successfully.

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Extra info for 30 Minutes to Deal with Difficult People (30 Minutes)

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By resorting to aggressive or non-assertive behaviours the situation will become worse and the outcome will be unfavourable. You have the right to ask the other person not to personalize an attack. Other people do have a right to criticize you. However, you also have the right not to be put down, humiliated, or criticized in front of other people. 43 Coping With Difficult People If you become angry, annoyed or scared, it is likely that you will fail to listen to what is being said during the interaction and will react inappropriately.

Encourage the Type A individual to take work breaks and join you for lunch. Talk openly about your feelings, concerns and fears in the hope that the Type A individual will reciprocate. This will help to create and develop a climate of trust and openness, which contributes to a more supportive work environment. Use the skills of assertion to prevent the Type A colleague or boss from setting unrealistic time deadlines and goals for you. They have a tendency to underestimate how long a task will take and so you must be assertive with them, in order to prevent time-pressure demands.

However, the abrasive boss is unlikely to tolerate you once you start to ‘chafe under their rigid control’ and begin to assert yourself. This might be the time to consider a change of boss, since it is unlikely that you will be able change your abrasive boss when powerful superiors have not been successful, or have decided that he/she is more useful to the organization by behaving in this manner. If you are the abrasive personality it is important that you monitor your interactions with other people to ensure that your style of behaviour is not, in the long-term, costly to yourself and the people around you.

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