my five coping strategies for dealing with difficult people

When I am not noting down my thoughts on this blog, you will usually find me doing my day job working as Marketing Manager.

Since starting my career in 2007 I learnt pretty early on (through trial and error) that there are certain people, no matter where you work or where you are in the world who simply get a kick out of being difficult.

So here are my top 5 coping strategies for dealing with these pesky folks:

Breathe & Rise Above:


Early on in my career my boss used gave me this advice when I would come to her with my woes about difficult work encounters…she always said, “Char – just breathe and rise above. Is the world going to end? No! So let’s just remember this is simply just work, the planet will keep spinning and tonight you can go home and watch the bake-off.” She was totally right. It was one of the best lessons ever taught to me. So when you next get into a pickle with a colleague who just wants to cause trouble. Simply breathe and rise above.


Take Your Time To Reply:


We all know those snippy little keyboard warriors who construct those nasty little passive aggressive emails that have your boss and his dog in cc. My first reaction is to hit my keyboard with full force sounding like (to my colleagues) that I have transformed into the incredible hulk behind my computer monitor just by the sound of my key punches. First thing to do is stop right in your tracks and ask yourself a few questions: Does this email even warrant a response? Do you feel the need to justify yourself? My answer is no. Almost 95% of the time I do not even reply to personal or accusatory emails. I take at least a day to reply with the facts at hand. I don’t ever try to justify myself and sometimes I even just pick up the phone and with my happiest most polite voice address the issue at hand.


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Now this may seem arrogant, rude or just obnoxious. But I am starting to learn (only recently) that I shouldn’t always be sorry for everything I say and do at work. Firstly this goes out to all you ladies out there. Why are we always sorry for having a voice at the table? We should stand by our convictions, we won’t always be right but we will always be true to ourselves. Take inventory of how many times your male colleagues apologise at work. I promise you it will be rare to see! I feel this more and more as my role gains more responsibility and I start making an impact in the company. Never be rude and never lose your sense of self and certainly never let anyone mistake your niceness for weakness.

Use Negativity As Your Fuel


My mother taught me when dealing with negative and destructive people simply take their outlook and turn it into the fuel you need to show ’em what for! For example when you are presenting a new process or project – you will always face some negativity. This is not a bad thing. Use that as your fuel to proceed with you best foot forward and show them what you are made of.

Remember Who You Are

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Work can sometimes be all-consuming. You spend 8 hours a day sometimes more in the workplace. It is very easy to forget all the amazing things you do outside of work. At work I am a Marketing Manager and do marketing manager type things. At home I am an artist, photographer, blogger, traveler, wife, dog owner, foodie, skateboarder, surfer and so much more. Remember who you are and use the time out of work to make memories and gain experiences that will keep you grounded, kind and human. These aspects of your life help you keep perspective in the workplace.


Lottie x



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