You can’t please everybody… But how can you make sure you help bring out the best in everyone? [Fridays: Mindfulness by Miles]
Miles Everson’s Business Builder Daily speaks to the heart of what great marketers, business leaders, and other professionals need to succeed in advertising, communications, managing their investments, career strategy, and more.
A Note from Miles Everson:
We can’t predict who we’ll deal with in our career and journey as professionals.
Sometimes, we’ll meet colleagues who are difficult to work with—people who will truly test our patience and interpersonal skills.
Should we just choose to avoid them at work? No. As responsible, professional, and mindful individuals, we have to remember that dealing with these kinds of people are part of the things that will help us grow and mature in our fields of expertise.
Did you know there are science-based tips that can help you effectively interact with difficult people at home or at work?
Keep reading today’s article to know more about these methods.
Mindfulness by Miles
In the book, “Dealing with Difficult People: 24 Lessons for Bringing Out the Best in Everyone,” authors Rick Brinkman and Rick Kirschner wrote that although most people may be hard to get along with at one time or another, some may be classified as truly difficult.
Think about an unresponsive boss who keeps everyone anxious most of the time…
… a chatterbox colleague who disrupts almost everyone’s workflow…
… or an ultra-defensive employee who treats your ideas or suggestions as if they were lethal weapons.
Dealing with these kinds of people in the workplace is truly challenging. They will definitely test your patience and social skills.
Miles Everson, CEO of MBO Partners, agrees it’s true that meeting people who are difficult to deal with is part of life.
However, he says having wrong connections with and approaches to these individuals can negatively affect one’s performance as a working professional.
Here’s the thing: In an honest and realistic mindset, the ideal response to deal with difficult people is to simply avoid them.
The problem with that response?
It’s not always possible!
Everson says you must also acknowledge the fact that your work life won’t always be smooth-sailing. Whether it’s in the area of your workload, workplace relationships, schedules, and others, there will always be challenges and part of that is dealing with difficult people.
According to him, you must continue to strive to perform well even in the face of such challenges because these will help you mature, widen your perspectives, and become a better individual.
Here are a few science-based tips to effectively deal with difficult people. Everson read about these best practices in one of lifestyle guru and Bulletproof 360 (a health and wellness company) founder Dave Asprey’s blog posts:
Photo from Inc.com
- Practice empathy.
Everson believes empathy is key to establishing good connections with others.
So, instead of avoiding someone because you see them as difficult to deal with, take a minute or two to put yourself in their shoes.
Who knows? That person might just be going through a personal problem that’s why he or she is cranky and hot-tempered.
You can empathize with others by:
- Asking them a few things about themselves.
- Listening to their stories.
- Showing interest in some of the things they like such as playing games, writing stories, watching movies or TV series, etc.
- Being compassionate towards them.
Empathy allows you to see the world from another person’s point of view. According to Everson, this characteristic is hard-wired, but it’s a skill you can learn and develop.
- Boost your oxytocin levels.
Oxytocin is a hormone that is involved in childbirth and breastfeeding. This chemical is often associated with trust, empathy, and relationship-building.
When you perceive someone as trustworthy, or when someone sees you as trustworthy, the brain releases a significant amount of oxytocin to signal that a relationship is safe.
However, when you’re dealing with difficult people, chances are you won’t get that same level of oxytocin in your body.
… but don’t fret!
Everson says you can still boost your oxytocin levels when you’re not particularly connected to a person by prioritizing personal interactions and being empathic towards an individual.
- Learn to handle your emotions and actions properly.
While you can’t change or control how another person would act or react, Everson states you have the ability to change or control your own responses to various situations.
Instead of reacting improperly to someone’s actions, identify your own emotional triggers and analyze why that person’s behavior or attitude gets to you negatively.
After that, ask yourself:
“What’s my responsibility in this situation?”
Answering this question whenever tension arises will enable you to manage your temper. Besides, Everson believes having this kind of awareness will help you become less emotionally reactive and better equipped to assess situations accordingly.
- Exercise thankfulness.
Everson agrees that thankfulness is fundamental to long-term happiness. Numerous studies show that gratitude makes a person happier, more empathic, and more emotionally open.
Additionally, gratitude works at a neural level, so expressing it creates pathways that lead to more positive thinking.
When you’re feeling happy about and thankful for your life, you’ll less likely get affected by a negative interaction with someone.
- Get enough, high-quality sleep.
Everson says having enough sleep enables you to be more emotionally alert, calm, and present―all valuable tools when you’re dealing with a difficult person.
On the other hand, when you get less sleep, you’ll likely be more tense, anxious, and reactive―all characteristics that can further ignite a fire in a negative situation.
So, if you want to avoid being on bad terms with someone difficult, make sure you’re getting enough rest and sleep so you’ll be more understanding and empathic towards them when you’re awake.
Everson encourages you to try these tips first before steering away from or cutting ties with a difficult person.
He states since it’s not all the time you can avoid interacting with these kinds of people, you should learn how to properly and effectively deal with them.
Who knows? With patience, understanding, and consistent kindness towards them, you’ll help them come around and be nicer to you and everyone else around them.
However, if you’ve done the tips above and the situation didn’t get any better, Everson says that’s the time for you to move on.
These will help you navigate your way through difficult situations and maintain a healthy culture in your workplace.
We hope you find today’s topic helpful and insightful!
(This article is from The Business Builder Daily, a newsletter by The I Institute in collaboration with MBO Partners.)
About The Dynamic Marketing Communiqué’s
“Fridays: Mindfulness by Miles”
High-performance businesses are run by people who think and act differently.
In other words, these are people who are high-performing individuals.
Companies and individuals of this kind have found ways to escape the grind of commoditization and competition by focusing on the RIGHT goals.
High-performing businesses and individuals are also “return driven” businesses and “career driven” individuals. They conscientiously develop unique capabilities and resources that allow them to deliver offerings in ways no other firm or individual can.
Every Friday, we’ll publish tips and insights from MBO Partners and The I Institute’s “The Business Builder Daily” newsletter.
These will help you gain knowledge on the things that Miles Everson, the CEO of MBO Partners, often talks about regarding the future of the workforce.
We’ll also highlight other mindfulness advice on how you can be a high-performing individual both in your career and personal life.
Hope you’ve found this week’s insight interesting and helpful.
Stay tuned for next Friday’s “Mindfulness by Miles!”
Head of Marketing
Valens Dynamic Marketing Capabilities
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