• User AvatarMiriam McKenzie
  • 21 Feb, 2021
  • 2 Mins Read

What to do about Challenging People & Situations

Challenging people and situations. We all have challenging aspects of our personality and when we work closely with people, including customers and clients, what can be the most challenging is our reaction. How not to be ‘triggered’ by what someone has said, or done, or how they chew their food or breathe.

You know that ‘trigger’? When you immediately tense up, grit your teeth and in your head go, grrrr or a similar noise or perhaps a certain word or two.

But if we are confronted with any sort of behaviour that makes our life difficult there are techniques you can learn to deal with it. It’s important to learn these techniques when you are relaxed so it’s easier to recall when you are stressed.

Anger is a secondary emotion so there is always some other emotion in behind it, as the primary emotion.  These emotions can be so fleeting we aren’t even aware of them and we just go straight to anger. Once again, breathing helps keep you calm under angry situations (and help you to calm down if it’s you who’s angry). Learning about what is in behind anger can be life changing as you can then learn to deal with the primary emotion rather than let situations develop into the angry phase. Easier said than done? Absolutely. But it can be done with the right strategies and practising those strategies.

It also can be challenging not to be drawn into someone else’s issues/conflict/drama that hasn’t anything to do with us. One way to stop this from happening is to respond in a non-committal way. Saying “Riiiiight” and really drawing out the iiii sound will give the person time to draw breath and carry on without you haven’t to say anything possibly incriminating.

When it comes to dealing with issues or coming up against challenging people, take a deep breath (it will only take 3 seconds) and let it out slowly. If you have been practising empathetic statements and facilitative questions use them. If you don’t know what I mean just ask me, I can send some to you.

This week I am covering this very thing in a couple of workshops for a team. Team workshops are great because everyone hears the same message and discussions around what was presented as everyone will have a different take on it, will lead to the learning becoming more likely to be put into practice and everyone can hold each other accountable.

Say It Clearly has a team workshop option available as a service provider for NZTE. If your business qualifies you may be entitled to funding to hold the workshop for your team. Ask Miriam for more information.

Here’s some exercises to help you take that 3 second breath.