Aggressive, abusive, threatening and insulting. Donald Trump’s recent conduct may be exceptional in a couple of ways; it is widely publicised and it is played out in the usually-restrained theatre of American politics. But research shows that a vast majority of people (72%) regularly deal with, or are victims of, this type of bullying behaviour in their workplace.
Sadly, the majority of workplace bully situations are only resolved when the perpetrator moves on voluntarily. But I believe there are more effective, and more empowering ways, to deal with difficult personalities. The first vital step, he says, is to look at the situation clearly and honestly.
There are several things you can do to deal with aggressive and intimidating people in the workplace. The number one thing is to acknowledge them for what they are.
Most people, when they get an angry or an upset person in their life, tend to want to resist. But if you put up a barrier, they’ll keep hammering at you trying to get that barrier down. If, however, you let them express themselves without reacting back – if you pull their energy away from them – they will run out of steam and, pretty soon, everything’s done. You gain control.
Here are some practical tools to help you keep the bullies at bay:
Allowance is where everything is just an interesting point of view. If you can understand that this person is not “right or wrong,” they just have an interesting point of view, then you don’t have to take anything they say personally. You can see the situation as it is.
Insults and bullying are only effective when the bully offers you a judgement of you, and you start judging yourself in the same way. Gratitude and judgment cannot co-exist. Start today by having gratitude for what you have – even if seems small and insignificant. Choose to live life as a celebration now, not when everything gets sorted out.
When you ask questions, you open your mind to solutions and possibilities that you wouldn’t normally see. When faced with a difficult person, ask yourself questions such as “What is this?”, “What do I do with it?”, “Can I change it?” and “If I can change it, how do I change it?” The point is not to come to definitive answers. Rather, the solutions will form in your subconscious and will start to guide your actions and decisions.
Destroy and un-create your relationship
This is a powerful tool that helps your mind focus on the present. Make the intent each day to “destroy and un-create” your relationship with this difficult person. Doing this will help you release any grudges or hurt from previous interactions and allow your actions and feelings to be relevant to the present moment – not the lingering past.
Gary Douglas, speaker, author and founder of Access Consciousness®