Tag Archives: difficult conversations at work

No 34. Dealing with a difficult person with the word ‘feel’

difficult conversations

Unfortunately from time to time in the world of teaching you can encounter another member of staff that seems to be making your life difficult. This may include

  • talking to other people about you behind your back.
  • deliberately putting your ideas down during a meeting.
  • criticising you by e-mail and copying other people, often senior people into it. The cc and bcc are rarely used carefully.
  • greying matters by telling half truths.
  • talking to the students in their classes about you. A false and wholly inappropriate way of them gaining respect.

If you think this is happening to you then the worse thing you can do is to do nothing. You must confront the person directly and take the following steps

  1. Ask the person that you would like to talk to them privately – don’t do this by e-mail, keep it all face to face.
  2. Tell the person how they are making you ‘feel’. The key word here is ‘feel’. They won’t be able to argue with a feeling but can argue with facts which they can say are not true.
  3. Say that you would like it to stop otherwise you will be taking it further. Stress that you wanted to deal with the matter informally first.
  4. Keep things short and to the point. Keep it firm but friendly.
  5. Keep a record of it yourself in writing with a date but don’t send it to anyone.

I think it is really important to deal with the matter yourself. Don’t tell other people that you are going to do it or discuss extensively with other colleagues. You may end up being as bad as them! Make sure you are professional at all times.

difficult conversation 2

Incredible!

The images in this post are from here and here.