Project LeadershipProject Management

How We Use TRICK to Manage Difficult People

Every team has a group of difficult people, and we generally avoid working with them. Nonetheless, as a project manager, you cannot avoid them. However, it is really hard to keep your cool at times. So, how do you tackle their negativity? In this article at Hackernoon, Vinita Bansal shares five ways to help you manage difficult people.

Working with Difficult People

We often criticize people based on the values, principles, and ethics we imbibe. We blame them for not achieving our goals. Once they do not match our viewpoints, we term them as difficult people. Instead of planning to deal with them, let’s find out how we unknowingly use the TRICK approach to deal with them:

T – Tagging

Humans have a primal instinct to tag things as dangerous, sweet, friendly, formal, etc. We tend to judge people based on what we have experienced. We forget that the other individual can have a slightly different worldview. This type of tagging helps us to channel our brain to act in a certain way that we have already planned as our response strategy.

R – Righteousness

Once you had a conflict with someone, did you take time to respond as normally as before? When we have a tough time with difficult people, our body tightens as a reflex, as well as our responses. We believe that the other person does not deserve to be treated like you used to. The catch is, while you can stop meeting friends and family, you cannot ignore working with team members.

I – Intention

Since we have already tagged them as difficult people, we think that all their activities would be negative. According to Hanlon, “Never attribute to bad intentions that which is adequately explained by ignorance, incompetence, negligence, misunderstanding, laziness or other probable causes.” We have to keep in mind that not everything they do can dampen the spirit of the team.

C – Confirmation

We always look for attitudes or acts that further confirms our beliefs that they are difficult people. Even if they have been performing well, we dismiss them as a one-time thing. We highlight their tantrums more than good deeds.

K – Keenness

When we tag difficult people, we forget to look at ourselves. Is it not possible that your behavior has triggered that attitude in them? It can be their defense mechanism. Why not try a more positive attitude while interacting with them? It might help them ease their reactions.

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