What Are the Best Ways to Deal with Difficult People?

Difficult people can quickly turn your dream job into a nightmare if you let them. However, your happiness and productivity are worth the fight. Let’s consider the best ways to deal with challenging personalities.

Start with Yourself

In “Man in the Mirror,” a song recorded by Michael Jackson, the lyrics provide an effective formula for improving your environment: “Take a look at yourself, and then make a change.” Self-examination might reveal that you are overreacting to a situation. For example, perhaps you don’t appreciate a particular coworker who gives harsh criticism. Stop for a moment and consider: what are the person’s motives? Instead of assuming she’s trying to bring you down, why not assume she’s trying to make you the best you can be? Adjusting your attitude can help you to see the bright side of irritating behavior.

The song continues: “It’s gonna feel real good.” Scientific evidence supports the claim. Emotional intelligence includes having empathy and good social skills. In 2013, a study published in Psychological Science found that people with high emotional intelligence made wise decisions. A 2008 study revealed that positive work interactions correlated with good health, a factor associated with few sick days and thus higher productivity. What author William Arthur Ward said was true: “When we seek to discover the best in others, we somehow bring out the best in ourselves.”

Communicate

You can’t expect anyone to read your mind. Often, problems arise when one person misunderstands the humor or intentions of another. You need to give your colleague the opportunity to make things right.

Approach your colleague and explain why his behavior offends you. Plan your words. Strive for the most palatable way to voice your complaint. You might role-play first with an objective party. Ask a friend to monitor your tone, your words, and your body language. When you speak to the difficult person in real life, carefully choose a time and place. (For instance, avoid addressing issues in the middle of stressful projects.) Find a neutral place (i.e., not your office) where you can discuss the matter privately.

Bill Eddy, President of High Conflict Institute, suggests the following formula: Express regret that you have to address the behavior. Explain how you plan to help the person. Give examples of how you want them to act and how new practices would be beneficial to both parties. Let’s look at an example scenario. Think about your workplace challenge and how you can adapt the script to deal with it.

You: . . ., I’m sorry that I have to bring this up, but the way you . . . makes me feel . . .
On my end, I will . . .
However, if in the future, you could . . . If you do, the process of . . . will work much more smoothly than it does now.

What to Do When Your Efforts Fail

You approached the employee about how his or her behavior. If there is no change or the situation worsens, what can you do?

Ignore the Bad Behavior

Just like young bullies, difficult adults may seek attention with bad behavior. To show them that you are unaffected, you can deflect insults by laughing along with their jokes or making a neutral retort as if you didn’t understand their rude intentions. Then, change the subject. Once they fail to get the attention they crave from you, they may move on to a new target.

Nasty colleague: I heard Benjamin took vacation leave because he was embarrassed about losing the Denman account.

You: The beach is a restful environment. I can’t wait for my next vacation.

Avoid the Person

If it’s possible without damaging your ability to work, limit the interaction you have with the difficult person. Withdraw from shared voluntary duties and choose projects and committees that don’t include him or her.

Involve the Superiors

Involving the superiors is the second-to-last resort. In the best case scenario, the boss can straighten out the issue for you. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case. Sometimes, the situation becomes worse because the colleague resents you for getting him or her in trouble. Or, you might find that the boss sides with the culprit.

Find a New Job

The real last resort is quitting your job. You can either transfer to a different department within the same company or break ties altogether. You’ll have to weigh the cost of this decision. Is the problem significant enough to merit such drastic action? Will you enjoy another kind of work? Will you easily find another position? And if you do, how will you handle it if there are challenging people at the new workplace?

What are the best ways of dealing with difficult people at work? Will you confront the problem directly by approaching the person to talk about their behavior? Will you let a supervisor know and let them handle the problem? Or will you flee to greener pastures by finding a new job? If you weigh the pros and cons of each strategy carefully, you’ll likely find a solution that works for you.

The post What Are the Best Ways to Deal with Difficult People? appeared first on Grammarly Blog.

from Grammarly Blog https://www.grammarly.com/blog/how-to-deal-with-difficult-people/

Lesson 244 – Parts of the Sentence – Verbals Review

Instructions: Using all the knowledge learned in the previous lessons, find the verbs (v), subjects (subj), predicate nominatives (pn), direct objects (do), appositives (app), nouns of address (na), adjectives (adj), predicate adjectives (pa), adverbs (adv), prepositions (prep), objects of the preposition (op), prepositional phrases (p ph), indirect objects (io), and objective complements (oc) in the following sentences.
If the word is a verbal, tell whether it is a gerund, participle, noun infinitive, adjective infinitive, or adverb infinitive. Tell which word the adjective, adverb, prepositional phrase, verbal, orverbal phrase modify.
Example: The actors performed there to entertain and to be seen. (performed = verb, actors = subject, the = adjective modifying actors, there = adverb modifying performed, to entertain/to be seen = adv. infinitives modifying performed, and = conjunction)
1. The ricocheting car flew through the wall of the house.
2. Go to the thesaurus to find a better word.
3. This computer program is difficult to understand and follow.
4. Have you tried writing a letter to him?
5. Harold’s chief interests are gambling and spending money.
–For answers scroll down.

Answers:
1. flew = verb, car = subject, the = adjective modifying car, ricocheting = participle modifying car, through the wall = prepositional phrase modifying flew, through = preposition, wall = object of the preposition, the = adjective modifying wall, of the house = prepositional phrase modifying wall, of = preposition, house = object of the preposition, the = adjective modifying house
2. go = verb, (you) = subject, to the thesaurus = prepositional phrase modifying go, to = preposition, thesaurus = object of the preposition, the = adjective modifying thesaurus, to find a better word = adverb infinitive phrase modifying go, word = direct object to the verbal to find, a/better = adjectives modifying word
3. is = verb, program = subject, this/computer = adjectives modifying program, difficult = predicate adjective modifying program, to understand/(to) follow = adverb infinitives modifying difficult, and = conjunction
4. have tried = verb, you = subject, writing a letter to him = gerund phrase used as direct object, letter = direct object to the verbal writing, a = adjective modifying letter, to him = prepositional phrase modifying writing, to = preposition, him = object of the preposition
5. are = verb, interests = subject, Harold’s/chief = adjectives modifying interests, gambling/spending money = gerund and a gerund phrase used as predicate nominatives, money = direct object to verbal spending, and = conjunction

For your convenience, all of our lessons are available on our website in our lesson archive at http://www.dailygrammar.com/archive.html. Our lessons are also available to purchase in an eBook and a Workbook format.
from Daily Grammar Lessons Blog http://dailygrammarlessons.blogspot.com/2017/08/lesson-244-parts-of-sentence-verbals.html

10 Hilarious Out of Office Messages You Will Want to Copy

Leaving for vacation? Heading to a work conference? Beset with the flu? You’re taking a break from email correspondence, which means it’s time to set up the dreaded “out of office” message. Not only is it a bore to write, most people will be less than delighted to read it when they were expecting a real response from you.

But what if you could turn this necessary evil into a way of engaging with people that’s informative, memorable, and even fun? Maybe they wouldn’t be as disappointed to get your away message instead of getting you.

For those who are ready to stand out from the crowd, we’ve gathered ten hilarious out of office messages that will inspire you to raise the bar the next time you sit down to write an autoresponder.

1Keeping It Real

I am currently out of the office on vacation.

I know I’m supposed to say that I’ll have limited access to email and won’t be able to respond until I return, but that’s not true. My iPhone will be with me and I can respond if I need to. And I recognize that I’ll probably need to interrupt my vacation from time to time to deal with something urgent.

That said, I promised my wife that I am going to try to disconnect, get away and enjoy our vacation as much as possible. So, I’m going to experiment with something new. I’m going to leave the decision in your hands:

• If your email truly is urgent and you need a response while I’m on vacation, please resend it to interruptyourvacation@firstround.com and I’ll try to respond to it promptly.
• If you think someone else at First Round Capital might be able to help you, feel free to email my assistant, Fiona, and she’ll try to point you in the right direction.

Otherwise, I’ll respond when I return…

Warm regards,

Josh

Sometimes honesty is the best course of action. Venture capitalist Josh Kopelman shares the facts, then presents the option to choose your own adventure. Do you really want to interrupt his vacation?

2A Day in the Life of an Autoresponder

Digital marketing guru Ann Handley has become legendary for her humorous out of office responses. Getting an auto-reply is by definition impersonal, but Ann turns a cold response into a friendly conversation through some clever personification, while also promoting the event she’s attending. Genius!

Guess who is available on email and who is *not* available on email this week!

Who is on email: Me, the email auto-responder.

Who is mostly not on email: Ann.

Fun fact: Ann and I never, EVER are on duty at the same time. (Mind blown, right?)

Being an auto-responder is not a bad gig. Upside: I spend the vast majority of my time sitting around, waiting for Ann to take a vacation or for the B2B Forum to roll around.

The latter is precisely what’s going on now! The B2B Forum might be an awesome event for B2B marketers. But for me, it’s like my Chrismakwanzakah — HOORAY! I have something to do today aside from make microwave nachos and binge-watch Netflix!

(What’s the B2B Forum? See here: mpb2b.marketingprofs.com. You can probably still buy a ticket. I cannot. I got work to do!)

You can also peek at what she’s up to in Boston here: http://instagram.com/AnnHandley.

Thanks for swinging by! More importantly, thanks for giving my life purpose and meaning!

Your friend,

Email auto-responder
(Repping Ann)

3It Rhymes!

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Rejection doesn’t have to hurt. Why not soften the blow with an adorable poem that informs and delights?

Thanks for the email, but I’m afraid to say
I cannot reply as I am away.
A conference in Canada is where you’ll find me,
Follow it on Twitter – #SMSociety.

4“Hi, I’m Troy McClure!”

We’re not sure who wrote the original Troy McClure out of office message, but this version by Paul Sokol of Infusionsoft is a real gem.

Hi, I’m Troy McClure! You may remember me from such classic Out of Office Messages as “I’m at Outside Lands Watching Metallica” or “Visiting My Family in Florida.” I’m here today to talk to you about Paul Sokol, and the email you just sent him.

(Enter Billy, 8 years old, doe-eyed)

Billy: Mr. McClure? Why is Paul not answering any emails right now?

Troy: The answer is simple Billy: Paul is in San Diego this weekend providing support for an event and nowhere near his work email.

Billy: When is he going to be coming back?

Troy: He will be back on Monday morning.

Billy: Is he going to reply to the email they just sent?

Troy: If it warrants a response, Billy. If it warrants a response…

(Exit Billy)

That’s all for now. Watch for me in the upcoming Out of Office Message “At a Wedding,” coming this winter!

5There’s a Graph for That

Don’t have time to craft the perfect response? A relatable comic or infographic is all you need.

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6Fun With Pop Culture

Take a cue from PR guru Gini Dietrich—make your message memorable by framing it with a pop culture reference.

https://giphy.com/embed/gZuxOq7zSL5DO

via GIPHY

Is this heaven? No, it’s Iowa.

That’s where I’ll be for the next couple of days, giving my last out of town keynote of the year (yay!).
I don’t know if there really is a Field of Dreams, but I’ll be in search of it in between checking emails and getting back to you as quickly as I can.

If you need something while I’m stuck in a corn field, you can send a note to my assistant and she will be happy to help you.

7A Picture Is Worth a Thousand Words

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An emoji autoresponder? It’s cute, it’s effective, and they might actually read it!

8The Revolution

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If they’re not happy with your response they can blame the robots—if they dare.

9Choose Wisely

Reducing email volume is key. Take this opportunity to express your draconian streak.

I am on annual leave until dd/mm/yyyy. I will allow each sender one email and if you send me multiple emails, I will randomly delete your emails until there is only one remaining. Choose wisely. Please note that you have already sent me one email.

10Too Much Nyquil

Taking a sick day? There’s humor in there somewhere. When your out of office message gets out of hand, you can always blame it on the Nyquil.

It is with sincere regret that I inform you that I feel like a porcupine has climbed down my throat and up into my head. I came to work this morning because I did not want to miss our busy Monday morning and with hopes this would pass. Alas I continue to sound and feel like the [expletive] I nearly stepped in this morning. I shall now retire to my place where bed and T.V. are so that I can nurse a bottle of Nyquil until I succumb to the purple haze of that cherry-flavored syrup. Please excuse my absence and rest assured that I will not be spreading my misery to others in the office.

Regards,

[Name]

P.S. Please forgive the absurdity of this email as I feel the sickness and medication have clouded my professional judgment.

The post 10 Hilarious Out of Office Messages You Will Want to Copy appeared first on Grammarly Blog.

from Grammarly Blog https://www.grammarly.com/blog/hilarious-out-of-office-message/

Lesson 243 – Parts of the Sentence – Verbals Review

Instructions: Using all the knowledge learned in the previous lessons, find the verbs (v), subjects (subj), predicate nominatives (pn), direct objects (do), appositives (app), nouns of address (na), adjectives (adj), predicate adjectives (pa), adverbs (adv), prepositions (prep), objects of the preposition (op), prepositional phrases (p ph), indirect objects (io), and objective complements (oc) in the following sentences.
If the word is a verbal, tell whether it is a gerund, participle, noun infinitive, adjective infinitive, or adverb infinitive. Tell which word the adjective, adverb, prepositional phrase, verbal, orverbal phrase modify.
Example: The actors performed there to entertain and to be seen. (performed = verb, actors = subject, the = adjective modifying actors, there = adverb modifying performed, to entertain/to be seen = adv. infinitives modifying performed, and = conjunction)
1. Blaming others is a coward’s way to feel better.
2. We do not plan to change the landscape.
3. Keeping his promise, Jim was there to help.
4. I am too old to learn to ski.
5. One way to lose weight is to exercise.
–For answers scroll down.

Answers:
1. is = verb, blaming others = gerund phrase used as subject, others = direct object to verbal blaming, way = predicate nominative, a/coward’s = adjectives modifying way, to feel better = adjective infinitive phrase modifying way, better = predicate adjective modifying verbal to feel
2. do plan = verb, we = subject, not = adverb modifying do plan, to change the landscape = noun infinitive phrase used as a direct object, landscape = direct object to the verbal to change, the = adjective modifying landscape
3. was = verb, Jim = subject, keeping his promise = participial phrase modifying Jim, promise = direct object to the verbal keeping, his = adjective modifying promise, there = adverb modifying was, to help = adverb infinitive modifying was
4. am = verb, I = subject, old = predicate adjective modifying am, too = adverb modifying old, to learn to ski = adverb infinitive phrase modifying old, to ski = noun infinitive used as the direct object of the verbal to learn
5. is = verb, way = subject, one = adjective modifying way, to lose weight = adjective infinite phrase modifying way, weight = direct object to the verbal to lose, to exercise = noun infinitive used as the predicate nominative

For your convenience, all of our lessons are available on our website in our lesson archive at http://www.dailygrammar.com/archive.html. Our lessons are also available to purchase in an eBook and a Workbook format.
from Daily Grammar Lessons Blog http://dailygrammarlessons.blogspot.com/2017/08/lesson-243-parts-of-sentence-verbals.html

If You Want to Know How to Apologize, First Do This…

If you want to succeed at apologizing, start by telling yourself you’re awesome.

The advice sounds counterintuitive. It’s common knowledge that if you want to make a real apology, the kind that’s meaningful and sincere, you have to start by setting aside your ego. But that’s easier said than done, because research shows that not admitting we’re wrong is pretty emotionally satisfying. Often, when we try to make apologies we end up mounting a defense instead.

Why We’re So Bad at Apologizing

We’ve all heard apologies like this one:

“Hey, I’m sorry you’re upset. I didn’t mean to suggest that your input doesn’t matter, but when you were speaking during the meeting I was trying to process my own thoughts, which is why I interrupted you. I apologize.”

Eeee-yeah. That’s not an apology; that’s a justification for bad behavior.

Let’s break it down.

What the apologizer said:

Hey, I’m sorry you’re upset.

Translation:

I don’t like it that you’re mad at me.

What the apologizer said:

I didn’t mean to suggest that your input doesn’t matter, but when you were speaking during the meeting I was trying to process my own thoughts, which is why I interrupted you.

Translation:

The thoughts I was formulating were more important to me than what you had to say.

What the apologizer said:

I apologize.

Translation:

Sorry, not sorry.

Good people sometimes behave badly. There’s a difference between acting like a jerk in the moment and being one full-time. Unfortunately, when you’re faced with the need to own up to jerk-like behavior, your brain has to work overtime to convince you that you did something wrong, and that’s not a pleasant experience.

We’re terrible at apologizing because we don’t want to feel bad about ourselves. We have an innate need to preserve our positive self image. Because of this, setting aside our egos long enough to make a sincere apology may seem easy enough in theory . . . but it’s a lot more difficult in practice.

Of course, failing to apologize effectively can be toxic to workplace and other relationships. We tend to resent and dislike people who can’t own up to their mistakes. Those who always deflect the blame are challenging to get along with.

How to Use Self-Affirmation to Apologize . . . For Real

There’s good news, though. We become much better at apologizing when we remind ourselves of our own good qualities just before we approach someone we’ve wronged to admit that we screwed up.

In 2014, Karina Schumann, a Stanford University psychologist, published a research paper demonstrating that self-affirmation leads to better apologies. She discovered that people who practiced affirmation were less likely to be defensive and included more elements of an actual admission of wrongdoing in their apologies.

Apologizing begins with saying a few positive words to yourself. A one-size-fits-all affirmation won’t work here, though—you have to make it personal. Think about your sources of self-worth. Maybe you’re really good at your job and generally well-liked. Maybe your parenting skills are off the charts and your kids are turning out awesome. Or it could be that you’re creative and full of ideas. Whatever it is, have a little chat with yourself about it before you step up to apologize. It could go something like this:

I’m good at relating to people. Here at work, my colleagues often turn to me for advice and guidance because I’m open-minded and kind.

When you think about what makes you feel good about yourself, you’re disarming your defenses. Now you’re ready to apologize.

Elements of a Perfect Apology

Because you know that your mistake was a momentary lapse and not a long-term value judgment, you can be sincere. Find a quiet time when you’re less likely to be interrupted and then address the person you’ve wronged.

  • Say you’re sorry. Not, “I’m sorry, but . . .”, just plain ol’ “I’m sorry.”
  • Own the mistake. It’s important to show the other person that you’re willing to take responsibility for your actions.
  • Describe what happened. The wronged person needs to know that you understand what happened and why it was hurtful to them. Make sure you remain focused on your role rather than deflecting the blame.
  • Have a plan. Let the wronged person know how you intend to fix the situation.
  • Admit you were wrong. It takes a big person to own up to being wrong. But you’ve already reminded yourself that you’re a big person. You’ve got this.
  • Ask for forgiveness. A little vulnerability goes a long way toward proving that you mean what you say.

Now, instead of the lukewarm apology above, your apology might look like this:

I’m very sorry for the way I behaved in the meeting. It was unacceptable for me to interrupt while you were talking. You must’ve felt like I didn’t value your contribution. I realize that I struggle with impulse control, so I’ve asked people to call me out if I interrupt them during conversations. I really do want to hear what you have to say. I was wrong, and I hope you can forgive me.”

It’s as simple (and as difficult) as that. No justifying your bad behavior, no making excuses or blaming someone or something else, and no minimizing the hurt you caused by saying “I didn’t really mean it” or “I was just kidding.”

Owning up to your own bad behavior is never easy. But, if you bolster your self-worth before you set out to apologize, it doesn’t have to be soul-crushing, either.

The post If You Want to Know How to Apologize, First Do This… appeared first on Grammarly Blog.

from Grammarly Blog https://www.grammarly.com/blog/how-to-apologize/

Lesson 242 – Parts of the Sentence – Verbals Review

Instructions: Using all the knowledge learned in the previous lessons, find the verbs (v), subjects (subj), predicate nominatives (pn), direct objects (do), appositives (app), nouns of address (na), adjectives (adj), predicate adjectives (pa), adverbs (adv), prepositions (prep), objects of the preposition (op), prepositional phrases (p ph), indirect objects (io), and objective complements (oc) in the following sentences.
If the word is a verbal, tell whether it is a gerund, participle, noun infinitive, adjective infinitive, or adverb infinitive. Tell which word the adjective, adverb, prepositional phrase, verbal, orverbal phrase modify.
Example: The actors performed there to entertain and to be seen. (performed = verb, actors = subject, the = adjective modifying actors, there = adverb modifying performed, to entertain/to be seen = adv. infinitives modifying performed, and = conjunction)
1. Do you have a car to rent?
2. Flags hung too high are hard to take down.
3. Your moaning and groaning will not make things easier.
4. You know my problem, hating too many foods.
5. To decorate for the wedding will cost a great deal.
–For answers scroll down.

Answers:
1. do have = verb, you = subject, car = direct object, a = adjective modifying car, to rent = adverb infinitive modifying do have
2. are = verb, flags = subject, hung too high = participial phrase modifying flags, high = adverb modifying hung, too = adverb modifying high, hard = predicate adjective modifying flags, to take down = adverb infinitive phrase modifying hard, down = adverb modifying to take
3. will make = verb, moaning/groaning = gerunds used as subjects, your = adjective modifying moaning/groaning, not = adverb modifying will make, things = direct object, easier = object compliment modifying things
4. know = verb. you = subject, problem = direct object, my = adjective modifying problem, hating too many foods = gerund phrase used as appositive, foods = direct object, many = adjective modifying foods, too = adverb modifying many
5. will cost = verb, to decorate for the wedding = noun infinitive phrase used as a subject, for the wedding = prepositional phrase modifying to decorate, for = preposition, wedding = object of the preposition, the = adjective modifying wedding, deal = direct object, a/great = adjectives modifying deal

For your convenience, all of our lessons are available on our website in our lesson archive at http://www.dailygrammar.com/archive.html. Our lessons are also available to purchase in an eBook and a Workbook format.
from Daily Grammar Lessons Blog http://dailygrammarlessons.blogspot.com/2017/08/lesson-242-parts-of-sentence-verbals.html

Lesson 241 – Parts of the Sentence – Verbals Review

Instructions: Using all the knowledge learned in the previous lessons, find the verbs (v), subjects (subj), predicate nominatives (pn), direct objects (do), appositives (app), nouns of address (na), adjectives (adj), predicate adjectives (pa), adverbs (adv), prepositions (prep), objects of the preposition (op), prepositional phrases (p ph), indirect objects (io), and objective complements (oc) in the following sentences.
If the word is a verbal, tell whether it is a gerund, participle, noun infinitive, adjective infinitive, or adverb infinitive. Tell which word the adjective, adverb, prepositional phrase, verbal, orverbal phrase modify.
Example: The actors performed there to entertain and to be seen. (performed = verb, actors = subject, the = adjective modifying actors, there = adverb modifying performed, to entertain/to be seen = adv. infinitives modifying performed, and = conjunction)
1. I finally bought me a hearing aid to hear better.
2. Sometimes I just need to try again.
3. Having decided definitely, he stepped onto the train to leave home.
4. The person winning the lottery will have a different life.
5. You can only reach our place by crossing the river.
–For answers scroll down.

Answers:
1. bought = verb, I = subject, finally = adverb modifying bought, me = indirect object, hearing aid = direct object, a = adjective modifying hearing aid, to hear better = adverb infinitive phrase modifying bought, better = adverb modifying to hear
2. need = verb, I = subject, sometimes/just = adverbs modifying need, to try again = noun infinitive phrase used as the direct object, again = adverb modifying to try
3. stepped = verb, he = subject, having decided definitely = participial phrase modifying he, definitely = adverb modifying having decided, onto the train = prepositional phase modifying stepped, onto = preposition, train = object of the preposition, the = adjective modifying train, to leave home = adverb infinitive phrase modifying stepped, home = adverb modifying to leave
4. will have = verb, person = subject, the = adjective modifying person, winning the lottery = participial phrase modifying person, lottery = direct object to the verbal winning, the = adjective modifying lottery, life = direct object, a/different = adjectives modifying life
5. can reach = verb, you = subject, only = adverb modifying can reach, place = direct object, our = adjective modifying place, by crossing the river = prepositional phrase modifying can reach, by = preposition, crossing the river = gerund phrase used as the object of the preposition, river = direct object to the verbal crossing, the = adjective modifying river

For your convenience, all of our lessons are available on our website in our lesson archive at http://www.dailygrammar.com/archive.html. Our lessons are also available to purchase in an eBook and a Workbook format.
from Daily Grammar Lessons Blog http://dailygrammarlessons.blogspot.com/2017/08/lesson-241-parts-of-sentence-verbals.html