Working with difficult people

I thought it might be a nice idea to share some of the knowledge which has helped me reach the top of my profession. It’s about dealing with a difficult client.
I asked around and it seems that people struggle with dealing with an unreasonable or difficult boss – and I have had some. As a Virtual Assistant I no longer have a boss. I have clients. Same difference.

Uriah Heep and David Copperfield

Julie Kay puts a different spin on it, calling it How to Work with People you Just Don´t Get  . That is a lovely way of putting it and her advice is really very good.

My advice and my experience is:
The customer/boss is always right. Affirmative noises immediately create an atmosphere where agression is no longer necessary and the customer feels heard.
Create a relationship where you are equal to the one you serve. That relationship starts long before the client acts unreasonable or difficult. Right from the beginning establish yourself as same level, as a person in your own right and as an individual who knows what she’s talking about.
Listen. Listen. Listen. You might actually learn something. Be open to input.
Count to 10 before you answer (silence is powerful) and do not contradict, it will only make things worse.
Take ownership of the issue. Show that you care and that you want to do better.

Do all this whilst keeping your integrity. Show that you have values, put yourself at the same level as your client and you will be able to hold a real conversation about the issues. You will be able to resolve issues and work with a difficult client.

Rarely will it happen that someone is so terrible that it´s impossible to work out. However, if that happens you´ll know you have tried your best and it´s just not worth it.

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