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There are some people you just can’t deal with, right? Ideally, it’s the exceptions that make life difficult. But what if you meet exactly such a person again and again, professionally or privately? Here are 3 tips: 

In my life there are few people with whom I can’t find a way. Specifically, there is only one person I can think of who gets me on my toes when I just think of having to contact him. No, it is not an ex-lover, but a professional contact. Let’s call him Mr. X. To be polite, that’s all I’m going to say. 

I’m very happy to find a connection with almost anyone. But I’ll be honest with you, it wasn’t always so.  Also, in my coaching sessions and seminars, the subject “I can’t work with this person.” comes up from time to time. Mostly it refers to clients or colleagues. But also in your private life there might be contacts that you can’t avoid, although you would like to. Here are three tips that are meant to make your life a little easier. 

  1. Focus on the goal
    Remember what the relationship is really about. You are not supposed to marry the person (If you do, please skip to paragraph 3 “drastic decisions”). Usually there is a goal that connects you both. They should buy something from you or you have to work together in certain areas. Or maybe we are talking about a relative you keep meeting at family gatherings. For every scenario there is a common goal that you have with this person. By focusing on this, it becomes much easier to see beyond the human discrepancies.In the sales contact you can therefore concentrate on the sales process and with your colleague on the professional aspects. At the family celebration, make sure that you make the main person of the event happy by your visit. If you know beforehand that you will meet the person, prepare yourself and imagine how you will behave in the ideal case. This increases the chances that you will be able to implement this.*
  2. Develop better understanding
    Many antipathies are based on difference. The person you are talking to may react very differently than you would and this drives you crazy. You simply cannot find any common ground. It can help if you understand these differences better. To do this, you might want to use a personality model such as DISC, Insights, MBTI or other. Understanding which typical behavioral patterns different personalities show and what they need in their communication can help a lot to improve the contact.Sure, this requires some effort from you, but let’s be honest: it will not improve by itself. You surely have experienced this by now. You will also develop a better understanding if you start talking more to the person concerned. Most importantly, ask open questions to better understand the point of view and to put yourself in the other person’s shoes. Again, this is effort on your part – an effort that is worth it, I promise.
  3. In extreme cases make drastic decisions
    You have already tried everything and it just doesn’t work? That can happen. For me, it’s like this with Mister X. Some people are just extreme – even narcissistic or psychopathic. In the worst case, you might have to make a drastic decision and break off contact completely. That’s what I did with Mister X. We would still have mutual contractual obligations to each other. but neither of us seems to have any desire to claim them. In the future this will cost me a few hundred Euros each year, which I would be entitled to. But to be honest, my peace of mind is worth more to me than a little money.Drastic decisions can also mean transferring the customer to another salesperson or not serving him anymore. In the case of a colleague, you could be fighting for an organizational change or a move within the company. Or you could even look for a new job. Yes, these are extreme measures and you will only take them in an extreme situation. But if a relationship is seriously bothering you, you might want to take such a radical decision.  You’ll know immediately afterwards whether it’s right. If you feel better and relieved immediately, go through with it. Otherwise there is usually a way back before it gets really serious. 

From my experience, the solution lies in points 1 and 2. I have used the third tip exactly once in the last 10 years. With most people you will find a way to deal with them, with understanding, tolerance and open communication. 

*If the aversion is very deep and this person is always bringing you up to speed, and if in addition this contact is vital for you, this might be a subject for coaching. In this case it is best to make an appointment for a free preliminary talk right here. 

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