Even difficult people need compassion

Even difficult people need compassion
Image Credit: Steve Bridger

As a manager, you are called upon to to use your manager skills to interact with a lot of different people. Some of those people may be on your team and some won’t. Some of those people will be easy to get along with and some will, how shall I say this, be difficult to get along with. When it comes to these difficult people you can both avoid them and make it harder to get your job done or you can find ways to be compassionate towards them in the hopes that you’ll be able to work with them. No, it’s not going to be easy and you don’t have any manager training on how to do this, but the payoff will be worth the effort.

How To Deal With Difficult People

One of the first questions that a manager often asks is “why should I bother trying to show compassion towards somebody who is difficult to deal with?” It turns out that the answer is because by doing so you will experience a collection of health benefits. These include avoiding the disappointment of interacting with someone who is difficult and the high blood pressure that comes along with having to do this.

The key to having the best possible interaction with someone that you find to be a difficult person is to make sure that you take the time to adjust your thinking. You need to adjust your thinking about the person before you encounter them. You want to take the time to learn how to feel compassion for them. If you are able to cultivate compassion for others, then you will be able to better regulate your negative emotions such as stress and anxiety. At the same time you’ll be able to increase your positive emotions such as calm by working to become more compassionate.

It turns out that there are four different stages to feeling compassionate towards someone. In the first state, you recognize the suffering in someone else. In the next state, you are moved by their suffering. Next you wish that the other person did not suffer. In the final state, you feel motivated to find a way to help relieve the suffering. Where things get interesting is that determining that you want to help someone is left up to you. It turns out that just being willing to help them out is all that it takes for you to experience the benefits of feeling compassionate towards someone else.

Steps You Can Take To Deal With Difficult People

Fine, so there’s a difficult person in your life. Now what? What’s the best way for a manager to deal with a difficult person in their life? The first thing that you don’t want to do is to suppress your thoughts. If you try to do this, you will fail and you will experience negative consequences. Suppressing your thoughts will result in you feeling more anxious and could have a harmful effect on your physical health. This is also going to end up making you think about the difficult person more often than you will want to.

Next you are going to have to own up and admit that at times you can be difficult to get along with also. This is what the experts call the “just like me rule”. What you are trying to do here to understand that just as this person may be difficult for you to deal with, you need to understand that you may be difficult for them to deal with. The thinking is that it will be humbling for you to remember this and it may make it easier for you to deal with this difficult person.

Finally, you need to take the time to become curious about this person. Take just a moment and think about what it must be like to be the other person. Your goal here has to be to try to tap into the struggles that they are facing. You need to realize that they too have both hopes and dreams. As you tap into their struggles, you will find that you are now able to let go of some of the anger and anxiety that you feel with you interact with them. The result of this is that it is going to have a positive mental and physical effect on you. Keep in mind that you don’t actually have to forgive the other person, your goal is simply to reduce the amount of emotional reactivity that you’ll experience when you interact with them.

What All Of This Means For You

As a manager one of the key aspects of your job is that in order to be successful, you need to interact with a lot of different people. Some of those people will be easy to interact with, some will turn out to be difficult. Although it could be easy to just decide to avoid the difficult people, it turns out that they may be important in helping you accomplish all that you need to get done. What this means is that you are going to have to learn how to find compassion for these difficult people and do some team building.

The first challenge that you are going to have to solve is how best to deal with the difficult people in your life. Coming up with a way to deal with these people is important for you because otherwise they can have a negative impact on your health. You are going to have to adjust your thinking and understand the four stages of dealing with a difficult person. In order to successfully interact with a difficult person, you are going to have to not suppress your thoughts. This won’t work and will just end up harming you. Next you are going to have to admit that at times you can be a difficult person to interact with also. Finally, you need to become curious about this difficult person and take the time to better understand them.

In a perfect world, we’d all get along with every person that we met. However, that’s not the world that we live in and so we need to find ways to get along with the difficult people that we will be meeting. Using the techniques that we’ve discussed, you can now find ways to overcome your natural aversion to dealing with difficult people and instead discover ways to build bridges to them.

– Dr. Jim Anderson
Blue Elephant Consulting –
Your Source For Real World IT Management Skills™

Question For You: What do you think that you should do if a difficult person decides that they don’t want to talk with you?

Click here to get automatic updates when The Accidental IT Leader Blog is updated.

P.S.: Free subscriptions to The Accidental IT Leader Newsletter are now available. Learn what you need to know to do the job. Subscribe now: Click Here!

What We’ll Be Talking About Next Time

Of all of the issues that managers have to use their manager skills to deal with in the workplace, it’s possible that religion might be the most difficult. The reason for this is simply because there are so many different religions out there and none of us have any manager training on how to deal with them. Even within a given religion, there may be many differ offshoots which all practice their faith differently. What religion we choose to follow is a deeply personal decision that goes a long way in defining who we are. It can be very difficult for us to interact with other people who have chosen a different religion from ourselves. As a manager you are going to need to find a way to get all of these people with different beliefs to work together…

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Secrets Of Great Managers

by drjim on October 11, 2018

You need to know what makes a great manager in order to be one

You need to know what makes a great manager in order to be one
Image Credit: Liz Brooks

The job of being a manager is a tough one. There are a lot of different things that you’ll be asked to do and meanwhile you have the responsibility of leading your team and showing them what to do. None of us were born knowing how to go about doing all of this and so we probably don’t have the manager skills or manager training that we need. If we can get any help from the outside, we should always be grateful for it. The good news is that there have been a lot of managers before us and if we can only take the time to listen to what they want to tell us, then we can become better at this manager thing.

It’s All About Motivation

As a manager it’s your job to find ways to get the most out of your team. This can be a very tricky thing to do – your team has a lot on their plate and they often don’t feel that they have the time to listen to what you want them to be doing. What this means for you is that you are going to have to accomplish several things. First, you are going to have to get their attention. Next you are going to have to be able to convince them to do what you need them to do. Neither of these things will ever be easy to do.

In order to accomplish both of these goals, you are going to have to do some strange things. In fact, what you do may initially appear to be unhinged to your team. This may involve throwing things, deleting things, or perhaps ripping things up. Although this may appear outlandish, it’s actually a very calculated act. As a manager you need to understand that in certain tough situations, words may not be enough. By taking the time to make a graphical display of just how ferocious you are, you are going to be able to connect with the members of your team on a deeper level.

Dissent Is Ok

Being a manager means that you need to work with a lot of different people. Yes, of course, there is your team. However, there are also other managers, other departments, and in many cases vendors and other companies. Each one of these parties has their own set of objectives and different things that they want to accomplish. What this means for you is that you are going to have a lot of people telling you what they think that you should be doing.

As a manager you are going to have to keep your thinking independent. Just because other people think that you or your team should be doing something does not mean that you should be doing it. Instead, you are going to have to be willing to push back – to dissent. When you disagree with someone, it’s going to be your responsibility to let them know. However, you have to be careful to make sure that your disagreement is not personal. You are going to have to make sure that everyone realizes that conflict when it is focused on supporting your team’s goals is not something that is destructive. Rather, it is essential to being a good manager.

You Need To Be Relentless

Life is not easy. Things don’t always go the way that we want them to go. What this means for you as a manager is that as you attempt to lead your team, you are going to experience roadblocks and setbacks. When these occur you are going to be faced with the need to make a decision. What are you going to do? Once option is to give up and go off and try something else. However, as a manager you are also trying to lead a team. This means that you want to show your team that when you face challenges, you find ways to solve them.

That’s why the correct course of action is to make sure that your team is left with no doubt about your level of commitment. Your willingness to solve the problems that you run into will be seen as an indication of just how committed you are to your team. No matter how big of an obstacle you are facing, you are going to want to show your team that you are not going to give up. One way that you can do this is by always show up at work – don’t take too much time off. Showing that you are committed to helping the team get what it needs, even when you are dealing with a small thing, will show your team your level of commitment.

What All Of This Means For You

Anybody can be a manager. It takes something special to be a great manager. Although most of us are just trying to determine how to be the best manager that we can be, we can learn from those who have gone before us. There have been some truly great managers and if we take the time, we can learn how they were able to accomplish great things.

The first thing that we need to understand is that a great manager knows how to motivate his or her team. You are going to have to take bold actions in order to grab your team’s attention. By doing this you’ll be able to connect with them at a deeper level – almost like you were doing team building. Managers have the responsibility to interact with a lot of different people. These people will ask us to do a lot of different things. It’s ok to say “no” – dissent is what a manager is expected to do. It will show your team that you are standing up for them. Finally, never give up! You will encounter roadblocks and things that appear to be blocking you from accomplishing your tasks. You need to keep on going – find ways to overcome everything that is blocking you. Doing this will show your team that you are willing to stand up for them.

Nobody ever said that this manager thing was going to be easy. The good news is that others have gone before us and we can learn from what they have done in order to become better. We need find ways to motivate our teams, think independently, and become relentless. If we can do these things, then we can become a great manager.

– Dr. Jim Anderson
Blue Elephant Consulting –
Your Source For Real World IT Management Skills™

Question For You: When you face an obstacle, do you think that you should tell your team about it?

Click here to get automatic updates when The Accidental IT Leader Blog is updated.

P.S.: Free subscriptions to The Accidental IT Leader Newsletter are now available. Learn what you need to know to do the job. Subscribe now: Click Here!

What We’ll Be Talking About Next Time

As a manager, you are called upon to to use your manager skills to interact with a lot of different people. Some of those people may be on your team and some won’t. Some of those people will be easy to get along with and some will, how shall I say this, be difficult to get along with. When it comes to these difficult people you can both avoid them and make it harder to get your job done or you can find ways to be compassionate towards them in the hopes that you’ll be able to work with them. No, it’s not going to be easy and you don’t have any manager training on how to do this, but the payoff will be worth the effort.

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