What do you do when you work with people or know people that say that you’re stupid, or you’re incompetent, or you’re not worth anything, or you dress like a dope? What can you say so that you can stay strong when you are surrounded by difficult people?
Here are four techniques to neutralize those negative attacks that come from difficult people.
The first strategy is to say something that doesn’t mean anything. “Oh, ah, eeh, owee…” Don’t give them any material to work with. Go through the vowels.
The second strategy is don’t say anything at all. Just go silent. Let them figure out whether you agree or disagree or don’t understand.
The third strategy is to repeat neutral phrases. “That’s an idea.” “That’s interesting.” “You’ve got
a point.” Using these neutral phrases can help neutralize the negative attacks from difficult
The fourth and final strategy is to become a broken record. Get into the habit of saying, “I will need some time to think about that.” “You’ve given me a lot to think about.” Often, difficult people will try to push you into a conversation that you are not prepared to have. Then they can try to show you how incompetent you are. Repeat, “I will need some time to think about that” and gain control of the conversation rather than being a victim of it.
You are always judged by our poise and professionalism in the workplace even when you are under attack. By using the four strategies, you will be able to avoid getting into those verbal fistfights with difficult people at work. Each technique can help neutralize the negative attacks. Just remember, don’t give them any material to work with.
If you need to find a keynote speaker, plenary speaker, breakout speaker, concurrent session speaker, seminar leader, or workshop facilitator who can deliver in-person, virtually, or via prerecorded session, Kit Welchlin, M.A., CSP, CVP, is a nationally recognized professional motivational speaker and author and can be found at www.welchlin.com or www.SeminarsOnStress.com.