I don’t mean difficult in the sense of being rude or disrespectful (which I can’t imagine any of us ever have to deal with), I mean difficult in the sense of needing to talk about something that is very uncomfortable for you and that is likely going to be a very difficult conversation to have.
It might seem like a lot of pressure, but I have seen it time and again in the lives of people I work with. There is a lot of pressure to take on new clients, to maintain their existing clientele, and to prove to clients that they are worth keeping as a client.
I know I’m guilty of this, so here’s how to deal with it. First, stop talking about your clients. The reason clients are difficult to work with is that they are very difficult to work with. While I’m sure you can handle someone who is not a difficult person, I have seen many clients who are very difficult, and that is a major reason why I can’t work with them.
You can always find excuses (and ways to prove that they are in fact difficult) to excuse your clients from giving you the time and attention you need. But this is a time to step up your game. If you need to work with someone who is difficult, make it clear how you can handle their behavior. Don’t be defensive, don’t play games with them, and don’t try to force your way into their world.
If client behavior is difficult, its because they are not acting in their best interests.
But if you are being difficult, you have a responsibility to act with kindness, respect, and patience. If you do all that you can, even if this is not your best behavior, you can make your life more enjoyable.
It is important to consider a client’s priorities before you attempt to solve their problems. When dealing with difficult clients, it is important to have empathy, but also to remember that you are not in the business of helping people. If you are working with someone who is difficult, you are in the business of helping them, you are just not in a position to do that.
When you have someone who is difficult to work with, you have to remember that you are not in a position to help someone who is difficult. And so, to be on the “right side” of someone’s problems, you have to not be a jerk.
A simple example of this is a friend of mine, who is trying to figure out how to help him out with the “curse of being an idiot” project. He was just a kid with a sweet tooth and a problem. He asked if I wanted to help him out. After a bit of reflection, he replied: “No, I don’t want to help you out here.” So I did.