Talking to a difficult person is tantamount to crossing a narrow winding bridge over a boiling river or magma. It is difficult in a way that this type of conversation summons our greater patience and understanding.
However, in scenarios that we need to find a solution (like we need to), do the following:
- Before starting the conversation, remind yourself first to be patient and understanding.
- Remember to always stay focus on the topic.
- Set aside your personal differences or issues. I do understand that a troubled heart cannot be helpful in making decisions and might cloud the judgement of the mind. So in order to work this out, you must set priorities. If fixing the issue is the top priority, so whatever issues you have with that person, you need to set it aside.
- Gather all the necessary facts and bring it in the table.
- Speak in terms of the information you have. You will never go wrong on this.
- Avoid ATTACKING THE PERSON YOU ARE TALKING TO. Remember, if you need the person’s cooperation or ideas, you don’t need to climb over the wall just to get his/her side of the issue.
- If some of the information is trying to point out the rough edges of the person, DO NOT HIGHLIGHT IT. Mention it but present it in a matter-of-fact way. You might be tempted to exaggerate a bit or always repeat that part. DON’T DO IT. If the solution is not bringing the person down, then it is a waste of time.
- MIND YOUR TONE. Angry or condescending tone pulls up the defense on the person we are talking with. So rather than having a constructive conversation, we see ourselves fighting off on who wins type of conversation. And that is a waste of energy and time.
- After presenting the information and you need to listen to the other person, LISTEN. Don’t interrupt or give counter statements to almost every thing that person is saying. Remember YOU TWO ARE HAVING A CONVERSATION. So in a conversation, one talks, the other listens. So YOU LISTEN.
- After getting all the information from both side, you come up and agree on the solution.
If after all the effort you put up to make this work out and still the person is still making things harder for you, then ignore him/her. Note in your report or on whatever the document that you already made the necessary actions in order to make this whole thing work out.
In cases that solution was not realized because the person is really difficult to deal with. Well, at least you tried though.
Be console in the fact that you did your part. In a way, through this whole ordeal, you might know more surprising things about yourself.