30 Minutes to Deal with Difficult People (30 Minutes) by Cary L. Cooper, Suzan Lewis

By Cary L. Cooper, Suzan Lewis

This article presents pointers on facing tough staff and employers tactfully and successfully.

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Friedman, MD and Rosenman, RH (1974) Type A Behaviour and Your Heart, Knopf; New York Harrison, R (1972) ‘When power conflicts trigger team spirit’ European Business, Spring, pp 27–65. Heron, J (1977) Catharsis in Human Development, Human Potential Research Project, University of Guildford; Surrey. Levinson, H (1978) ‘The abrasive personality’ Harvard Business Review, May–June pp 86–94. Wolf, SG (1960), in Lewis H, Griswold H, and Underwood H (eds) Stress and Heart Disease. Modern Concepts of Cardiovascular Disease.

Also, the use of your ‘buddy’ will help you to be objective in this exercise. Step Eight: Reward success It is often difficult to work towards a distant goal because the reward is too remote. Overcome this problem by setting interim targets which will progressively move towards goal achievement. Make sure that you reward yourself for success at each target stage and on achievement of your goal. 60 A FINAL WORD Life might be more pleasant if you can just learn to accept difficult people for what they are rather than devoting much time and energy into trying to change them, or yourself!

If the ‘questioning people’ actually leave the organization because they are not prepared to tolerate working with aggressive work colleagues, or an aggressive boss, it is likely that the people who stay will be the ones who ‘keep their heads below the parapet’ and thereby avoid risky conflict behaviour. This means that levels of creativity within the organization are likely to suffer. Those people who would normally temper risky decisions are also repressed and might even be prepared, and quietly pleased, to let an aggressive colleague ‘pay’ for an error of judgement.

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