Work Successfully with Difficult People
- Friday, April 06, 2012
Decide whether or not to stay in your current job. If you choose to stay, know why you’re choosing that, and also know your limits and set up boundaries accordingly. Think about how you might alleviate some of the tension (such as taking a sabbatical or changing positions within the same company). If you choose to leave, leave with dignity and express gratitude for the experiences you’ve had there.
Refuse to define yourself by what others say or do to you. Your worth isn’t based on other people’s reactions to you; it’s based on the reality that God loves you completely and unconditionally. Don’t allow difficult people to control your confidence. Instead, ask God to help you see yourself as He sees you.
Cope well with stress in your workplace. Even though stress can make you feel out of control, the fact is that you do have the power to do something about your stress. Identify what situations, events, or people trigger stress in you while you’re working. Then plan specific steps to take to eliminate as much stress as you can and cope with what remains by relying on God’s guidance to deal with it. Invest in your life outside of work so you’ll have healthy relationships with friends and family to turn to after work, which will reduce your stress levels. Don’t let your job overtake other areas of your life; regularly ask God to help you keep each area of your life in the proper balance, centered around Him.
Manage your emotions well. Your emotions have only the amount of strength that you give them. Don’t let you emotions guide you; let God guide you. God will empower you to deal successfully with even the most emotionally troubling circumstances at work when you place your trust in Him rather than in your emotions.
Give and receive forgiveness. Rely on God to help you through the process of forgiving the people you work with who have hurt or offended you. Ask people who you have hurt or offended to forgive you for your mistakes.
Communicate wisely with difficult people. Combine careful words with kind actions as often as possible when communicating with difficult people at work. Keep in mind that they may misinterpret your words, but they can clearly read your body language. Sandwich comments about a negative behavior that they need to change between positive comments to make it easier for them to listen to you.
Handle bias against you carefully. Deal with prejudice against you in the workplace quietly, without rancor. Document interactions that show bias and remain calm as you go through proper channels (such as human resources) to deal with it.
Learn how to work with people of different generations. Some of the problems you experience getting along well with others may be due to generational differences. Focus on what you can learn from people of another generation, and be willing to help them learn from your perspective.
Adapted from Working Successfully with Screwed-Up People, copyright 2012 by Elizabeth B. Brown. Published by Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group, www.revellbooks.com.
Elizabeth B. Brown is a teacher, a speaker, and the author of the popular Living Successfully with Screwed-Up People and the helpful Surviving the Loss of a Child. She and her husband live in Tennessee.
Whitney Hopler is a freelance writer and editor who serves as both a Crosswalk.com contributing writer and the editor of About.com’s site on angels and miracles (http://angels.about.com/). Contact Whitney at: firstname.lastname@example.org to send in a true story of an angelic encounter or a miraculous experience like an answered prayer.
Publication date: April 6, 2012
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