|Dealing with Difficult People - Building Trust | Gary Rush Facilitation|
People can be difficult and cause problems. How to deal with difficult people is not easy. Sometimes, we’d rather avoid them but that would not solve the problem. Keep in mind that people cause problems for a reason. Few people wake up in the morning thinking about how they can make someone’s life difficult (okay, so some people do but they are the minority). Often the person causing the problem can be productive in a different situation. Once you label someone a “difficult person”, you lose the ability to deal with the problem.
When we say that someone is a “difficult person”, we mean that they are disruptive – ineffective in communicating. To deal with a difficult person, you first need to assume that they have good intentions and you need to identify what is causing the problem. In other words, identify the problem, not the “difficult person”.
The Golden Rule
I have found that the key principle for dealing with difficult people is based on, “Treat others as you wish to be treated.” We must assume that:
I know that my assumptions are optimistic, but I believe that when you approach someone expecting good intentions, you get it, because people tend to live up to the good or bad intentions bestowed on them.
When dealing with people, we often forget that everyone is motivated by:
When one or more of the needs are not met, people display disruptive behaviors. Look to see which need is triggering the behavior. Once you have an understanding of what is motivating the person, use the following guidelines to correct it:
A Lack of Trust
A lack of trust is the common denominator, “I don’t trust that they believe in me”, etc. There are four components to Trust: Character, Competence, Caring, and Communication. We trust someone because:
When we don’t trust, it is because we believe that there are flaws in another’s character, competence, caring, and/or communication. Therefore, Building Trust requires engaging in dialog to understand which component(s) are viewed as flawed and working to change the perception and/or developing understanding. When we engage in dialog, we find, for example, that most “difficult people” are not malicious. Through dialog, you may find out that he or she does not trust the competence of others. That gives you something to deal with rather than labeling, where you lose the ability to deal with the problem.
Treat others as you wish to be treated and you will be successful in dealing with “difficult people”.