The #1 Way to Deal With a Difficult Colleague (written by Career Expert, Pete Leibman)

No matter where you work, it is virtually guaranteed that you will have to deal with difficult people.  Here is the #1 way to deal with a difficult colleague…

I once worked with a man named “John.”  (Note: that was not his real name.)  No one in the office liked him because of his negative, abrasive attitude, and when I met him for the first time, it was pretty clear how he had developed his reputation.  Not only was he unfriendly, he was actually rude.  He NEVER smiled, and everything about his body language and communication was a turn-off.  As a result, I tried to keep my interactions with him as brief and infrequent as possible.

Let’s fast-forward 2 months from my first interaction with him.  I was sitting in a meeting with John and several of my colleagues, and we were “pitching” an idea for a group from a local company.

 John had played a large role in what we were presenting, and our project manager noted his contribution in front of everyone.  The leader of the group from the other company loved John’s ideas, and he looked right at John and told him in front of the entire room that he was “absolutely brilliant.”

I will ALWAYS remember what I saw next.  It looked as if John went through instantaneous plastic surgery.  Several wrinkles in his face evaporated, the usual redness in his cheeks disappeared, and he flashed a smile (the first one I had ever seen from him) that could have gotten him a modeling gig for Colgate toothpaste. 

John was not a bad person.  He just needed some genuine appreciation!  He had gotten caught up in the vicious cycle of poor confidence leading to a poor attitude leading to poor relationships with other people leading to even poorer confidence.

Do you want to have a more pleasant relationship with a difficult colleague?  Then, find a way to give that person some genuine encouragement.  Chances are you’ll be the only one willing to try that approach, and you may just be the spark he/she needs to start living a more enjoyable, confident life…

-Pete Leibman

College Speaker and President of Idealize Enterprises

Explore posts in the same categories: Attitude, Dealing With Difficult People, Management, Professional Relationships

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