Almost everyone encounters a difficult person now and then in personal and professional life. The best defense against conflict in such a situation is to be prepared for interacting with difficult individuals.

## 1. Be honest and direct.
State your concern from your perspective, for example:
  • I have a hard time concentrating when …
  • I can’t meet my deadlines if …
  • It’s hard for me to be positive when …
## 2. Listen carefully.
- Listen to what the other person is saying instead of getting ready to react. - Avoid interrupting the other person. - After the other person finishes speaking, rephrase what was said to make sure you understand it.
## 3. Avoid blaming.
Focus on the facts. Finding fault can prevent problem-solving.
## 4. Stay focused.
- Discuss particulars; avoid generalizing. - Avoid getting sidetracked into discussing other problems. - Keep bringing the conversation back to the concern you’ve stated.
## 5. Say less.
After you state the problem, allow silence until the other person responds.