Problem Solving with Difficult People

Administrative Assistant Resource
March 18, 2014 — 2,592 views  
Become a Bronze Member for monthly eNewsletter, articles, and white papers.

Problem solving is a very important part of any business or administrative position. However, time and again, you may have come across some people who are extremely difficult to deal with. It seems impossible to see eye to eye with them, especially when it comes to solving a problem. There is no use getting bogged down in such situations, a cool head is what you need most in these situations. Here are some simple strategies you can adopt to work with difficult people.

Stay calm

Solving a complex problem makes the task a lot more tricky than it actually is. In such a situation, you simply cannot afford to lose your head. You must look at the problem from a positive perspective and never allow the difficult person you are dealing with drag you into negativity. Always keep your guard up when dealing with such people.


Listening is perhaps the most essential aspect involved in handling tough situations. Difficult people always love to argue to prove their point and they will continue to do so regardless of the situation. The best thing you can do in this situation is to calm them down as much as possible. Listening to them intently can make a huge difference in this situation. Not listening to them will only make them more forceful. On the other hand, listening to them may help you to identify and point out the flaws in their arguments, or perhaps make amendments to yours to reach common ground.

Don't agree on a whim

It is never a good thing to agree with a difficult person just to make him or her stop arguing. A small affirmative action from your side can complicate the situation and make things more difficult than they already are. In many cases, the person who is complaining to you is perhaps just frustrated and it is always important to calm them down first before you even try to solve the problem.

Drive the argument away from extremes

While listening is a good thing to do, you should also make sure that you do not stay silent when the other person is speaking. This could easily be considered as an affirmative from you by the grieving person. The same is true if other people are present. You should try to alter the argument of the complainer into a factual one. 

Administrative Assistant Resource