Negotiations are part of our everyday life. Whether you are in a conference at work or trying to figure out the tasks at home, we all negotiate in order to get what we want. However, sometimes we encounter people who are not so easy to deal with. They seem to be always on the defense and ready to strike at any moment. How, then, do we deal with this type of behavior? There are several strategies that can help you to better handle negotiations with difficult people. Not only will these tips help you to get what you want, they will also help you to maintain a good relationship with those people.
1. Try To Understand
Oftentimes, difficult people act the way they do because they want to be heard. This is why they jump in right from the beginning and make their point known. Try speaking to them with phrases like “I’m just curious about…” and “ Just for my clarification…”. These phrases will show that you are sincerely interested in what they have to say. It will make them feel less defensive and give them the chance to explain their point of view. You will better understand their needs and can then work toward a common goal.
2. Offer Help And Assistance
Difficult people typically want to tell you what you must do for them. Using the method of positive persuasion you can give them just that. Asking things like. “What can I do to help?” or “Is there anything I can do to make things easier for you?” will defuse the “hot” behavior and allow them to give constructive feedback. They will appreciate your willingness to do your part and they are more likely to be receptive.
3. Control Your Own Behavior
It is all too easy to get fired up when dealing with a difficult personality. When confronted with this type of behavior, people often strike back and get defensive, give up, or eliminate the relationship all together. All of these responses are counter-productive. Instead, take a step back and try to distance yourself emotionally. Focus on the matter at hand and how best to resolve it. Stay calm and see only the facts to come to a friendly agreement.
4. Let Them Bridge The Gap
Difficult people tend to resist when you make suggestions that are not theirs. Instead, allow them to offer suggestions by asking open-ended questions like, “What do you think…” and “What if we tried this?”. Give them choices so they do not feel as though they are being told what they have to do. Avoid the temptation to tell them what you think needs to be done. Rather, give them the chance to offer solutions. This will help curb defensive feelings and will help them feel as though they have a voice.
5. Be Assertive, But Polite
Just because you are allowing the other party to speak their mind does not mean that you have to come off as weak or fearful. Make sure that you are always communicating with assertiveness and don’t be afraid to take initiative. You want to cooperate with the other person, but you do not want to just give in. Be respectful of what they have to say while approaching your solution with confidence.
The ability to deal with difficult people can be a challenge, but it can also lead to more success and better relationships. Learning how to handle these tough personalities can help you to climb the corporate ladder and ultimately better your career. Effective listening and strong negotiation skills are key elements in growing your ability to deal with difficult people.