Standing up to difficult people

Do you struggle around demanding co-workers or bosses who manipulate you into doing things their way? Do you find it difficult to say what you really mean without being unkind?

Having confidence means being courageous and at ease with standing up to people who are difficult and are trying to intimidate you. Confident people respond without reacting or contracting, shrinking and behaving compliantly. They are comfortable saying, "It's not OK to speak to me that way."

Being confident and assertive means acting with firmness and openess and if others resent you or storm off, you are able to manage it without becoming destabilised. Your mantra becomes, "What others think of me is none of my business."

Firstly, you need to identify for yourself exactly what the issue is, then express that to the other person in a non-agressive way. You can't hint, mumble or ramble and expect to have a productive conversation. You have to be clear, conscice and succint. Others are not mind-readers, so you have to confront them and be honest. Always start with 'I' and not 'you'.

Don't, however point the finger of blame, be antagonistic, hostile or highlight the other persons shortcomings, flaws and defects. Focus on the immediate concern and be brief. 

Being confident and empowered means being the bigger person and acknowledging your part in the situation. For example, "I admit I talk a lot," or "I know I always like to lock things down ahead of time." Then say what you do or don't want. Dont justify, defend, waffle or make excuses as you will lose all credibility.

Be sure to acknowledge and respond only to what is relevant. Sure, you may not agree with their view, but do acknowledge it as it shows you have listened and understood. 

Ask questions if you need to clarify, stay grounded and keep your tone neutral. Repeat the process. Do not allow the other person to sidetrack you or steer you away from what you want to focus on, as then they are deflecting the issue and controlling the conversation. Dont back down, dont counter attack!

Wherever possible aim to resolve the issue by negotiating. Look for a solution and an alternative course of action.

Ask yourself:

  • What do I want?
  • What don't I want?
  • What am I prepared to negotiate on?
  • What is my bottom line?

Make it happen. Why? Because it's your time to shine!

Life Coach Directory is not responsible for the articles published by members. The views expressed are those of the member who wrote the article.

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