Before you go and put a label on people that may stand in your way of effective communication, know this. The main reason difficult people really are difficult is that they have a different style of communication from you which means they probably see you as difficult, too.
What can you do to work with all kinds of difficult people? In general, people are motivated by the need to be right, the need to get the job done right, the need to be admired, and the need to be included. If these motivators aren’t satisfied, you’re likely to have a difficult conversation on your hands. In other words the reason that difficult people are, well, difficult, is simply because that person wants to do a good job and be recognized for it.
So, how are you expected to know what motivates difficult people? You guessed it. Listen to them. Within moments, you will know what drives people and you’ll be in a better position to help them be at their best. In the end, they will seem less difficult to deal with and everybody wins!
Most people never learn this, or learn it and don’t have the patience to apply the principle. this gives you yet another chance for you to move onward and upward.
Difficult people can really suck up your time too. You can be more productive if you just follow optimal times to put forth effort.
Your greatest resource isn’t your time, but your energy. In addition to dealing with difficult people each day, you’re faced with innumerable opportunities to solve other people’s problems, obsess, procrastinate, and in general, goof off. It’s easy to do any of these. We know, because we’ve done them all.
To make sure you stay on track and do what matters most in the course of a day, you need to do a couple of things.
First, know what you want to accomplish that day, and second ask yourself what I call “the ultimate question.” Throughout the day, whenever the phone rings, ask yourself, “At this moment, was I involved in a high-yield activity?” High-yield activities are only those that get you closer to your goals. Only you know the answer to this question. Be honest. Often at first, you will find the answer will be “No, that wasn’t a high-yield activity.” Not a problem, simply decide if you’d like to correct your course, and if you would, do so immediately.
As a former academic advisor and assistant professor at the United States Air Force Academy, Crystal Jonas knows what it takes to make college students more successful, and enjoy school whole lot more. Ask about speaking or coaching for your students or faculty. Call Crystal at 719- 291-0366. ____________________________________________________________