We may not be able to like everyone we meet or interact with, but we can deal with everyone professionally.
There are many benefits for doing so including increased self-respect, more positive working relationships, being seen as someone who is collaborative and a team player.
So how can we deal professionally with people - even those we can't stand? Here are some top tips (below the ad):
1. Recognise you have the power of choice. Whoever the other person is, whatever they've done, you have the power to choose how you behave when you're with them. You have the power of being able to choose as many options as you want in terms of your behaviour.
2. Reframe your description of the person, so it's more positive. Is the person ‘difficult’ or ‘challenging’? Is the person ‘challenging’ or someone who is ‘useful’ as they enable you to practise your assertive skills? This reframing will impact on your view of them and that will be communicated to them by your non verbal and verbal communication.
3. Resource yourself. What resources do you need to deal with this person professionally? Before you interact you could put on your metaphorical ‘armour’, your bullet-proof vest, have an impenetrable shield around you, that is keeping you safe.
4. Separate the person from their behaviour. What specifically is it that is challenging? What are they doing that is challenging? Is it the way they speak or the words or the tone, or the pitch or pace? Is it the way they stand? Is it their gestures? Is it their eye contact or lack of it, their expressions that are challenging? By discovering the specific behaviour(s) you can identify specific strategies to deal with the behaviour that is challenging.
5. Imagine you are viewing them from a distance, as through a pair of binoculars, or a telescope. Changing the focus by distancing yourself from them can help you feel safer, and less challenged by them.
6. Pay close attention to them. Examine them closely. What words are the saying, how are they holding their head, how are they using their hands, where is their gaze? How are they breathing, how are they standing? What have you discovered about them?
Krista Powell Edwards is an expert in the 7Cs of performance, which include Confidence, Control and Credibility. She is managing consultant of Humanistics Solutions, which helps individuals, teams and organisations develop their effectiveness, credibility and impact so they Know It and Show (they know) It.