Workplace well-being: working with difficult people

Thursday, November 15, 2018 11:56 am
Reading Time: 2 minutes

Feeling like we are working with difficult people or teams can be a big source of stress for many of us and it can significantly decrease our sense of well-being and enjoyment at work.

So how can we work with difficult people?

The first thing we can do is really think about why you feel this person difficult to work with?

  • Do you have different works styles?
  • Do you have different beliefs?
  • Do you have different communication styles?

Give some thought to what is actually causing the issues.  Is it the person or is it the situation.  Explore ways of working through your differences.

Secondly, look to build some interpersonal skills that will help you to stay calm in difficult or high pressure work situations.  Sometimes in these high pressure moments we can respond emotionally,  rather than trying to remain calm and stay focused on the tasks and goals.  Staying calm and open to ideas and solutions can help you get the job done and achieve your work goals whilst not taking things personally.

Finally, try a bit of self examination.  Think about what it is that we are bringing to the work table that makes the situation or relationship difficult?  What are we doing or saying that may be creating some tension or conflict.  Self reflection can be challenging but is very beneficial.

  • Are we being too passive and thus making us feel frustration?
  • Are we being a little passive-aggressive and that makes the situations covertly more hostile
  • Are we being flat out aggressive and uncompromising – this can make things quite personal and appropriate boundaries can be forgotten.

Working through these steps will lead to positive impacts on your workplace well-being and happiness!

Listen to the full interview with Jodii Maguire from Think! Performance Psychology on Brekky below:


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