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Part V: Cope with Challenges > Manage Difficult Situations

Chapter 41. Manage Difficult Situations

True professionals learn to keep calm especially in stressful, difficult situations. When others know they can count on you to get through the tough stuff using your skills, their opinion of you soars. Learn tips to handle the pressure and avoid the pitfalls such as office gossip and ego battles. Know when to assert yourself proactively, and when to let go.

  Do  Don’t

Stay calm.

Overreact.

Assume the best intentions.

Become defensive.

Concentrate on facts, not opinions.

Interrupt.

Observe and assess the speaker’s non-verbal communication.

Argue.

Criticize.

Interpret what the speaker is “saying” with body language, such as eye contact, tone of voice, facial expression, and posture.

Tolerate verbal abuse.

Cast blame.

Monitor your own nonverbal communication and be aware of the messages you are sending with your body language.  

Notice your emotional triggers and their effect on you.

Try to put yourself in the speaker’s shoes. Identify what he or she wants and allow the person to vent.

Harmonize with the person’s stress (pain/emotions). Use empathy to absorb the tension.

Paraphrase the person’s comments.

Ask questions.

Offer solutions and alternatives.



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