In any business, you're going to run into situations of having to work with difficult people. Whether it's someone on your team or a patient in the office, having the right game plan to handle different people and situations will help you get through those awkward and stressful moments.
While you can't control how other people are going to act, you can control your behavior and how you respond to certain situations. Today we want to share some ideas from an infographic on working with difficult people.
5 Tips to Help You Work with Difficult People in Your Eyecare Practice
Understand the Issue
When dealing with a difficult situation or problem, make sure you're truly understanding the issue at hand and not taking something personally, or turning the initial problem into something else entirely. Active listenting is a good practice to make sure that you're focused on the issue at hand. To help improve your active listening habits use these four tips:
- Maintain eye contact
- Mirror their body language
- Clarify any questions
- Paraphrase the main points
Body Language is Important
As mentioned above, your body language can have a big impact on your interaction with someone. Studies have shown that people who use positive body language are more likeable and persuasive. Suggesting to take the conversation to a private room or outside can help change the tone of the conversation and gives you a chance to assess your body language and make changes. Examples of positive body language include:
- Relaxed posture
- Leaning in
- Aligning your body with the person you're talking to
- Arms relaxed at your sides
- Using hand gestures, head nods, and smiles
Create a Dialogue
In order to resolve a problem, both sides need to be on the same page. Getting to a resolution is going to be easier (or harder) with certain types of people. Creating a back and forth conversation of the situation and expected outcomes will help keep everyone on the same page. If only one person is participating in the conversation it's going to be hard to get a resolution that meets everyone's needs.
Recognize Positive Change
If you've been having trouble with particular staff members and are noticing positive changes, make sure you recognize them for it. According to the infographic, a Gallop survey found that 67% of employees whose managers focused on their strengths were fully engaged. So, when you notice someone putting in the time and effort to make positive changes, let them know that it's not going unnoticed.
Choose Your Battles
Not every discrepancy with an employee or a patient needs to be turned into a bigger discussion. Constantly being in an argument or disagreement will negatively impact your work life. Prioritize your biggest issues and have a plan in place for dealing with the big issues and letting the smaller things go by.
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