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How coaching can help people deal with difficult colleagues and customers

At work, we are likely to come across all kinds of people, some easy to work with, others not so much. One category of people we inevitably come across in any workplace is difficult colleagues or customers. Depending on the nature of your work, you will find that you will cross paths with a difficult colleague or customer at some point.

There are many categories of different people. We have liars, manipulators, toxic people who carry a cloud of negative energy around them, the clingy and needy, the demanding who cannot be reasoned with, those that react to the slightest provocation, to name but a few. From the list above, you must be recalling a situation where you dealt with one kind or another and you can remember how frustrated you were at that time. The truth is, you will always come across such people. What is important to know is that you cannot change how these people are, but you can control and change how you react when dealing with them.

One effective way of dealing with difficult colleagues or customers is through coaching. Business coaching helps you develop a variety of coping skills that you can put into action when faced with a situation involving a difficult person. Here are some ways through which coaching can help you deal with difficult colleagues and customers:

Coaching helps you identify a difficult person

What defines a difficult person? It is important to differentiate between being difficult and being assertive. Sometimes assertive people come across as difficult especially when they press too hard for results. For example, you may perceive your supervisor as a difficult person while in actual sense; she is pushing you to perform better for your good and that of the organisation. Identification is a crucial step before learning coping strategies of dealing with difficult people.

Coaching can make you understand difficult people

As unpleasant your situation is, you can try to understand why the other person is being difficult. For example, your colleague may seem unreasonable to you by refusing to acknowledge other colleagues’ contribution to a project. However, a deeper understanding of the colleague will present you with understand what the colleague is going through. For example, she may be insecure about their abilities and feel that added contributions are undermining her initial contributions. By understanding that, you and your colleagues could contribute in a way that the colleague feels valued and their opinions are not being undermined.

Coaching will teach you patience

Sometimes what aggravates a difficult person is how you respond to their provocation. As aforementioned, you cannot control the other person but you can control yourself and your reactions. Therefore, when this person says something demanding, or rude, consider taking a pause before responding. This way, your response will not make the situation worse than it is. Instead, you will be coming from a position of understanding and patiently, you can resolve the situation without it being blown out of proportion.

You will know when to seek help

Coaching will teach you different techniques of handling difficult people. However, it is important to know that not all situations can be handled alone and in some scenarios, you may need to seek help. For example, if a colleague or customer becomes abusive or violent, you should seek help from authority or security to deal with them.

Overall, coaching will help you deal with different stressful situations at work and make you derive greater satisfaction from your work.


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