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Handling Hard Conversations with Challenging People

I have just three things to teach: simplicity, patience, compassion. These three are your greatest treasures.
Lao Tzu

"People problems in work settings is the top stressor for most workers," write Luis Hernandez and Connie Jo Smith, in an article that is part of the Exchange Essentials article collection, "Dealing with Difficult People."

"Who are these folks?" they ask? "They are the ones that we can easily recognize because they can bug us individually or can drive the entire team bonkers. They are the ones who:

• are bossy
• act superior
• are loud and aggressive
• are phonies
• try to please too much."

The authors offer a variety of strategies for dealing with these challenging folks.

Ron Friedman, writing in the November 2016 edition of Harvard Business Review, gives some pointers on how to negotiate an emotionally charged conversation with someone you find difficult.

Friedman recommends using a technique represented by the acronym PEARLS:

"The key," Friedman notes, "is to employ them sparingly at first and to say only the ones that genuinely reflect how you feel."

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