Get the Toxic People Outta Here! ~ Managing Difficult People
October 16, 2015
Are you working with someone whose negative energy is affecting your performance and everyone around you?
It’s no fun and actually costs your organization more money than you can imagine.
Did you know that last year 25% of workers said that they called in sick due to work stress and almost ALWAYS it was caused by a toxic person in their work environment? The resulting cost in the U.S. of absenteeism, lower productivity, medical and legal fees, is estimated to be $300 billion per year!
It’s an unbelievable number I know, but you better believe its affecting your business too no matter how big or small.
I believe that each of us has a responsibility for striving to create a work environment in which we can succeed. It can’t always be up to management to resolve the problem since many times they don’t even know it exists. So here are 5 tips that you can implement immediately for managing difficult people more effectively.
- Try not to see the Toxic Person as your enemy. This will always create a barrier between you and the Toxic Person that you will never get over. Rather, look at them as someone who needs help and support in changing their behavior. Modeling productive, professional behavior is the best way you can help them.
- Avoid playing the victim and blaming yourself. A Toxic Person’s behavior has nothing to do with you. This is their way to gain control or exert their power. This temporary difficulty with this person is not your fault, it will not ruin your life unless you let it.
- Visualize the outcome that you want to achieve with this person when you have to work with them, confront them, or talk to them. Visualize their negative words and actions just bouncing off of you. Expect that a positive change can happen rather than labeling this person and their behavior.
- Never rise to meet their level of anger, frustration or rage. Once you do that, you have given up your control. Almost every time without fail, if you stay calm and do not rise to meet them, they will eventually tone it down to meet you where you are. This is a brilliant strategy I have used many, many times in managing difficult people.
- Walk away or take a break. No one has the right to bully or be abusive to another person. In a situation where I feel threatened or disrespected, I let the other person know that when they are ready to talk with me in a professional, respectful way – they know where to find me. Then I walk away.
It doesn’t matter if your toxic person is your boss, a co-worker, a vendor or customer. These strategies for managing difficult people will work in any situation. Just remember you will never get a different outcome with this person if you never try something new.