LifeServices Employee Assistance Program (EAP)
“Personal Service, Every Time”
Margie Roop, LPCC-S; CEAP; SAP, Regional Director
1-800-822-4847 or 330-329-3767
Have you ever…
Walked away from a conversation wondering…”what
Felt tense in your gut after you “thought” the issue
Felt on the defense in trying to confront an issue?
Had someone say, “I think you’re taking things the
Most people would admit that…
sometimes be tough!
Communication is often
fraught with confusing
Confronting an issue with
resembles a two hour
They have had trouble
“holding their ground”
with another party.
Communication is a lot
harder than one thinks!
They secretly wish that
people would just be able
to “read their minds”!
Occurs all the timewhether we realize it
Is a vital facet of
following a few
What makes someone appear difficult?
They do not agree with
They demonstrate a
They criticize your ideas?
They throw a “monkey
wrench” into the
Usually “poo-poo” ideas for
Behave disrespectfully towards
Feel they are always right?
Distrustful of others in general?
Always want to fight?!
So, what exactly is Effective
You feel that you were
You feel your needs
were met (or at least a
You don’t have that
nagging “gut feeling”
of unfinished business.
You also feel….
Glad you brought up
Affirmed in your
feeling about the
convincing the other
party of the
importance of your
Boils down to your ability to convince another person of
the importance of your issue or concern-THAT’S IT!!
And, you can accomplish
this EVEN with a “difficult”
Hint: If you can do it with a teenager,
you can do it with anybody….!
So: REMAIN CALM!
1. Usually, however, it is in how we try to sell others on our
idea that makes the “sale” break down; approach each
personal encounter in a calm fashion-there is nothing worth
upsetting yourself over….especially with a difficult person!
2. Respect each other’s personal space-a good two feet
away from one another (watch that slice!).
3. Use “open” body language such as an open stancearms uncrossed; it is critical to use good eye contact-be
sincere and respectful.
The old “I” statements…
4. State your concern using “I” statements”:
“I’m upset over how you spoke to me about the
Smith Company project yesterday.”
“I really need your help-I’m a bit frustrated with how
things went in the meeting an hour ago-it upset me
when you told the team that…”
Listen, listen, listen…
5. Allow the other party to respond…really listen to
them. Use reflective listening ,i.e., if the person appears
baffled by your statement, say so: “You look baffled by
what I just said..tell me about that.” Or: “Help me
understand where you are coming from?”
6. It is important, even though you are initiating the
conversation, to encourage the other person to
respond, i.e., “OK, tell me more” or “Is there anything
else you need to tell me?” This shows that you are not
dominating the conversation.
Stay in the “Here & now”…..
7. Remain in the present: “Right now, I feel
uncomfortable as you are looking at me,” or “I’m unsure
why, but I’m upset with how you just responded,” or
“This doesn’t feel good for me.”
Use the “Broken Record” method…
8. If the person doesn’t own their responsibility
with the situation in question, use the “broken
record” method of returning to your original
concern: “I hear what you’re
saying, however, I’m still upset by what you saidit really threw me off and made me feel like
there’s some sort of miscommunication about
Points to keep in mind:
Assess your emotions
prior to the encounter-are
YOU being objective?
Admit if there exists some
type of personality
conflict-this is a simple
fact of life-put it aside or
enlist the help of another
party in the encounter.
What’s YOUR stress level
on that particular dayremember our “personal
stuff” doesn’t simply
“check-out” the moment
we “check-in” to work!
If you’ve given it “the ‘ol college
try …and the person is STILL being difficult”
It means the other person is not ready to truly listen to
you; it’s THEIR problem!
If you are their supervisor, consider referring them to the
EAP for “Communication Coaching” Or formal discipline.
If you are their co-worker; do not personalize THEIR
problem with THEIR communication.
Try again, if it’s worth your investment, then let it go.
If THEIR reluctance to cooperate impinges on the success
of a project, advise your supervisor of your DOCUMENTED
attempts to effectively communicate with the person.
How good are you at convincing another of the
importance of your issue?
If you experienced failed communication, which of the
“Eight Steps” did you miss?
Call LifeServices EAP for further consultation on Effective
Check us out on: www.lifeserviceseap.com
Now go out and enjoy life(and, in the
case of communication, keep you