ELLE (Australia) - - Career -

We all know th­ese peo­ple – they al­ways ask for your ad­vice but never seem to fol­low through, they find fault in ev­ery­thing about their lives and rarely is any­thing to their lik­ing. Ad­dress­ing their im­pact not only mat­ters to your own san­ity but of­ten to that of the peo­ple around you, too, says Karen Gately, founder of HR con­sul­tancy Ryan Gately. As tempt­ing as it may be to sim­ply ig­nore those who con­stantly com­plain or over­re­act, the only real way to deal with it is to con­front them. Here, Gately gives her four strate­gies for han­dling pre­cious peo­ple...

have ex­pec­ta­tions

First, re­mem­ber it’s com­pletely rea­son­able to ex­pect peo­ple to take re­spon­si­bil­ity for how they think, feel and be­have – in­clud­ing when times are not to their lik­ing – and how that be­hav­iour neg­a­tively af­fects the peo­ple around them. Peo­ple who take own­er­ship for them­selves look for ways they can change, but those who don’t blame oth­ers for what makes them un­happy.

lis­ten to un­der­stand

Sen­si­tive peo­ple like to feel heard and un­der­stood. By hear­ing them out, you’ll earn their trust and, in turn, be in a po­si­tion to in­flu­ence them. You’ll need to be em­pa­thetic for how they think and feel, and also speak with them in a calm tone. Un­der­stand­ing pre­cious peo­ple will give you a much bet­ter chance of chal­leng­ing the be­liefs fu­elling their con­cerns.

show tough love

Have an hon­est dis­cus­sion with the per­son about the im­pact that their be­hav­iour has not only on you and other peo­ple in the of­fice, but also on their own re­al­ity. Be both up­front and sen­si­tive in your ap­proach. En­cour­age them to speak out about any con­cerns that are go­ing through their mind be­fore they get blown out of pro­por­tion.

con­tinue to chal­lenge

If they con­tinue to over­re­act, keep call­ing them out on it (re­spect­fully, of course). Point out when emo­tional re­sponses such as cry­ing, ar­gu­ing or com­plain­ing are mak­ing it hard for them to main­tain per­spec­tive and, ul­ti­mately, un­der­min­ing their abil­ity to suc­ceed. Chal­lenge them to choose more pro­duc­tive thoughts and emo­tions.

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