Our Story






Dealing with Difficult People - Be open to the possibility of liking them anyway

Dealing with Difficult People

We all have dealt with difficult people. Early in my training I encountered a doctor who triggered a tremendous amount of stress in me. I found him arrogant and smug. He also had a condescending and patronizing manner that I found offensive. It was bad enough that I had to periodically encounter him in my training rotations, but when I was assigned to his service for two months, I couldn’t imagine how I’d get through the ordeal.

As we started working together, I found him less irritating than I’d expected. Then something amazing happened. He requested my assistance on a case. During our collaboration, I found myself warming up to him. He responded in kind.

As I got to know him I enjoyed him more and more — he wasn’t smug at all. In fact, he was extremely shy and soft-spoken and what I had taken to be arrogance was a combination of shyness and the way he compensated for his social unease. His behaviour and mannerisms didn’t change, but my view of them did.

Make. Work. Better.

This is an exclusive subscriber-only story

Subscribe Today

To discuss re-use of this material, contact us.

Already a Subscriber? Log in.

Reuse and Permissions: Unauthorized distribution, transmission, reuse or republication of any and all content is strictly prohibited. To discuss re-use of this material, please contact: copyright@yourworkplace.ca ; 877-668-1945.

Dr. David Posen
Dr. Posen is the author of the best-selling books, Always Change a Losing Game, Staying Afloat when the Water gets Rough, The Little Book of Stress Relief, which has been translated into seven languages and Is Work Killing You? A Doctor’s Prescription for Treating Workplace Stress.

A Capital Advantage

Previously I introduced the concept of psychological capital and discussed how it could be integrated into an organization’s culture. To recap, whereas intellectual capital involves

Read More »