Conflict—a scary word. Many people don’t like conflict. Some like to stir the pot and thrive on conflict. Most of us know that conflict is inevitable; it happens because of individual differences. We all handle conflict in different ways because we all have different personalities.
Personality style can play a huge role in how we deal with conflict. According to the presenter today at the seminar titled: Dealing with Difficult People, there are four different personalities that exist:
The Relators: These people are loyal, the glue, the cheerleaders. They generally do not like conflict so may be considered indecisive and wishy-washy. They avoid conflict at all costs (this would be Wendy. 🙂 ).
The Thinkers: These folks are analytical, detailed, and love a good chart. They can be stubborn, negative, inflexible, and don’t do well with change.
The Socializer: These individuals are the jokester, the life of the party, people oriented, a delight to have around. They tend to wear their emotions on their sleeve and can come across as egotistical and know-it-alls.
The Director: These persons are risk takers, efficient, confident, and they get things done. They are inclined to intimidate, micromanage, alienate people, and use force rather than cooperation.
So what do we do if conflict arises? The leader of the seminar shared three ways we can handle conflict:
- Ignore and forget it
- Strive to improve the relationship
- End the relationship
If we choose number two and believe the relationship is worth salvaging, here are two simple tips that will assist with influencing behavior:
Fine Tune Your Listening Ears: How well a person can listen does not equal how well a person does listen. Develop a desire and willingness to listen, and evaluate what you hear. “The most basic of all human needs is the need to understand and be understood. The best way to understand people is to listen to them.” `Ralph Nichols.
Tune into Body Language: Pay attention to the signals you are sending by the body language you display. The way you position your body tells others how interested you are in what they have to say. Diffuse anger with body language by respecting personal space, speaking calmly, and making eye contact. “You can observe a lot by watching.” `Yogi Berra
Hurting people hurt others so if a conflict arises between you and someone else, keep their personality type in mind, try to understand so they are understood. And lastly, remember the acronym QTIP — Quit Taking It Personally. It’s not about you…
Conflict is natural. The key is how we handle it; how we control our emotions. Our signature line says it all…stay calm everyone.
Please share in the comments how YOU handle conflict.
2 thoughts on “How to Deal with Difficult People”
I handle conflict by first choosing to engage, and then going head on, but it can be scary!
This is needed at times – being direct is the only way for some to “get it.” …and it can be scary!