Managing Irrational People

Stella’s performance just wasn’t up to scratch. Kath, her supervisor, was keen to help Stella improve. But whenever Kath gave Stella feedback, the conversation got out of control.

Stella seemed unable to accept any form of feedback without becoming defensive. No matter how Kath worded her message, it triggered tirades and tears. Feeling at a loss about what to do next, Kath came to my course on Dealing with Difficult People.

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Break the rude email cycle

Terence was furious. He’d just received another abrupt, demanding email from his colleague, Tamara. He was fed up with her tone.

Terence came to me for advice on how to handle Tamara. Over three coaching sessions, he learned how to manage her behaviour professionally and assertively. Here are the steps Terence used to request that Tamara change her ways. You can use the same steps to handle colleagues who send rude emails.

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How to empathise with angry customers

Stephen was a customer support officer in a large software company. Years of listening to customer complaints had taken their toll. He was losing patience with his customers.

After a heated conversation with a customer led to a complaint, Stephen’s supervisor enrolled him in my course Handling Difficult Customers. In the first half of the course, we discussed the importance of showing empathy when customers experience problems. Stephen asked “Why should I show empathy when the customer is swearing at me?”

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How to say no

Meredith was a Human Resources consultant. She was passionate about supporting her clients. But this meant that she often said ‘yes’ to work she had little time to do. She was working long and starting to feel burnt out.

Meredith was taking on some projects to keep her clients happy, even though those projects fell outside her core area of expertise. This meant she was working excessive hours in order to master them. It was time Meredith started saying ‘no’ to these projects. She came to one of my communication skills training sessions. Here are some of the ideas Meredith picked up. You can use the same principles to say no to time-wasting tasks in your job, too.

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Trish needed to break news her clients didn’t want to hear. She wondered how to make the process easier.

Although Trish was an auditor, her question was one many professionals ask. Doctors, lawyers and Human Resources practitioners are just three examples of people who regularly need to deliver unpopular messages. Does your work involve breaking bad news or giving critical feedback? Then you’ll be interested in the advice we gave Trish’s team in their custom-designed training program.

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How to make change positive

Sean was preparing to announce the relocation of the company’s head office. Some staff might react badly to this change. How could he get everyone onside?

Sean needed to prepare his presentation very carefully. I helped him use NLP framing techniques to build a positive message. You can use the same techniques whenever you need to announce a change or introduce challenging news.

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Rapport building improves business results: A case study

If you want better results with people, learning how to build rapport can reap great results. Take Craig, for example. He was a freelance IT consultant who wanted help in getting on with his clients. Craig had difficulty managing his clients’ expectations. For example, he was frequently irritated by clients who ‘couldn’t’ describe what they wanted. What he wasn’t acknowledging was that people who could outline their needs accurately probably wouldn’t need his services in the first place!

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Handling irrational people: Four steps for success

Irrational behaviour can be confusing or annoying. But with a bit of know-how you can handle it professionally. Here are some steps mental health professionals use to manage people who aren’t thinking straight. You can use them, too, when dealing with irrational people.

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Replying to rude emails: your chance to look professional

Yes, reading a rude email can push your buttons. But before you hit ‘reply’ remember that this is your chance to look good. Remember the power of the written word and keep your reply calm, cool and collected with these tips.

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How to show empathy during tough conversations

A little empathy makes a big difference to difficult conversations.

Empathy is the ability to recognise and acknowledge how someone else is feeling. You may not agree with those feelings. But you CAN recognise the other person’s point of view and show respect for it. Here’s how to show empathy in tough situations.

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