Difficult People & Difficult Situations (Use Active Listening…
Use Active Listening Skills
– ask questions to clarify if you are unsure
– rephrase content
– rephrase feelings
– listen for themes or main points
– use head nods, eye contact, open body posture; this lets the listener know that you are listening
Identify The Problem
Clarify the expectations of the interaction
Encourage the person to talk
– this provides you more understanding of the “real” issues involved and often provides clues for possible solutions
Reframe the problem so that it is not personal.
Ex. The problem is usage of room time, not that one roommate is a jerk who plays music too loudly, and the other is a jerk who sleeps too much
Make the problem something that you are both working on collaboratively to solve
As much as possible, do so collaboratively.
Ask what he or she has done to try to resolve the problem.
Provide the opportunity for everyone to “save face.”
Work on one problem at a time
Make requests, not ultimatums
Focus on the present not the past. Focus on what you want, not on what you don't want
Know Your Limits
You are not able or responsible to solve all problems.
Once you have done what you reasonably can do, don't beat yourself up if the outcome is not totally satisfactory to each of you
Don't let the other person's problem become your problem. Your job is to problem-solve, not to simply take on other people's problems