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Ann Haney: Dealing with difficult people in business

Ann Haney • Updated Sep 3, 2017 at 8:00 AM

In this week’s column, we will move off the beaten path of saving money to a subject everyone relates to at some time or another. The goal this week will be saving your sanity by learning how to cope with difficult people, especially in business. 

Let me start out by saying this is not a one-sided subject. We have all been difficult at one time or another. Through this column, we will take steps to increase our ability to cope with difficult circumstances and people’s reaction to them. 

First of all, difficult relationships should drive determination not result in defeat. There are generally two things that can come out of dealing with difficult people, distraction from your goal or determination to progress forward. Distraction will always keep you focused on what the person is or is not doing taking your attention away from the opportunities and goals you set out to achieve. In essence, when this happens we have given that person power to drive our direction and control our life, thus losing control of our own happiness. They will often wear us down and wear us out, causing us to fall prey to their prowl. 

Here is some wise advice. “Nothing they did bothered you, nothing set you back, so don’t throw it all away now. You were sure of yourself then, it’s still a sure thing, but you need to stay with God’s plan so you’ll be there for the promised completion,” Hebrews 10:32-39.

How can you work up the initiative to head to work with a positive attitude when you know you will undoubtedly face this conflicting individual at some time in the course of your day? 

• Start your day with morning devotion, and don’t forget that cup of coffee. This will do two things. Start your day with a positive attitude and release positivity to those with whom you come in contact. 

• Capture the heart. How do you do this? Kindness and attentiveness are your friends. Although there are those who can be cold to the kindest person, it is not easy to do. This approach often throws their world into confusion because, when they are expecting continual conflict, you just threw a curve ball they don’t know how to catch often leaving them speechless. And sometimes this is how you prefer to have them. Be real, and don’t lower your confidence by their criticism. 

• Clock out physically and mentally at the end of the day. The waves become a typhoon when you choose to let the ripples of the day grow into a flood at home. All too often once we unload and voice our opinions at home, the nightly conversation and normal activities are ruled by the frustrations of the day. It may be hard to let go, but you must keep telling yourself, “I will think on positive things.” Even if you have to do this 100 times, with practice it will get easier to clock out at home. Count the blessings and put to rest the testing. 

“Finally, whatever is true, honorable, just, pure, lovely, commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things,” Philippians 4:8.

• Invest in yourself. This will do three things to help you cope, remind you of your value, make the extra exertion of patience rewarded and help you relax. 

It is never easy to deal with difficult people, but through these tips you can lessen your stress and keep you on track to accomplish your goals without allowing them to drive your direction. 

Ann Haney is a mother to six entrepreneurial-minded children, ordained minister, CEO of Aaron Publishing, founder of Ann Haney Ministries and Living In Abundance, nationwide motivational speaker, coupon specialist, empowerment coach and bestselling author of 20 published products, including her books, “Judgment Overruled,” “Exploding Into Successful Entrepreneurship,” “Single Steps In A Married World” and “Changing Your Life Through Couponing Financial Empowerment Series.” Contact Ann at ann@annhaney.com to schedule a speaking engagement, individual coaching or view her website for more information at annhaney.com.

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