How To Deal With Difficult People At Work

  • By Shawn Sommerkamp
  • 16 Jul, 2017

It goes without saying - we all deal with difficult workplace professionals now and then. You may even be in a situation, right now, where you constantly work with someone who gets under your skin. This is not uncommon. Whether it’s your boss , your staff or your colleagues, bad relations are a real productivity killer.  To live a Christian life at work, it helps to know how to coach yourself with God’s word.

People with differing core values

Most times, the reason for disagreement with a fellow employee is based solely on differing value systems. One person values timeliness, while another values the freedom to arrive late if desired. One person wants absolute privacy when speaking on the phone, while another likes to walk around the office talking loud enough for all to hear. One employee emphasizes patient listening, while another wants to drive a conversation to action and closure. One manager focuses on what’s going wrong, while another acts like everything is always rosy.

Even when differences seem a matter of conscience, it is most likely your own conscience being considered and not the other party.  The entire chapter of Romans 14 is dedicated to this idea. Although Paul wrote it to address the church, not a company, the truth remains.  “So then each of us will give an account of himself before God.” (14:12)

Whether you are dealing with aggressive types, know-it-alls, victims, the sharply sarcastic, constant naysayers, the withdrawn or yes-men, we can be an example of Christ-like humility in how we respond. When we respond with peace and humility, we find a powerful way to grow our career as wetreat others, even those who drive us batty, with utmost respect.

Here are a few scriptures to help:

Philippians 2:3  "Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves."  

James 1:19  "My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this:  Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry."

 Proverbs 12:16  "Fools show their annoyance at once, but the prudent overlook an insult."  

Proverbs 15:1  "A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger."  

Proverbs 16:23  "The heart of the wise instructs his mouth and adds persuasiveness to his lips."  

Ephesians 4:29  "Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen."

Using these scriptures, while keeping in mind our own Core Values***, you will not only better adapt to other workplace professionals, but you will also find a deeper peace in life.

***If you don't have a firm understanding of your own Core Values, go to my websit [here]  and download the always-FREE copy of Thought Tuning™.  This easy-to-read guide will help you better understand how to deal with difficult people at work, as you strive to be your best for God's glory.  

Shawn Sommerkamp is a motivational speaker and Executive Coach with 20+ years of Fortune 100 leadership experience.  He founded Motivationeer™ to coach Christian professionals how to use their career to glorify God and support local church growth.

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