Takes Two To Be Difficult - Avoid Blame When It Comes To Managing Employees Because It "Takes Two"
They say it takes two to tango. It takes two to make a baby. It also takes two to make an argument and to make a difficult situation worse. Why am I telling you this?
It’s simple. We live in a blaming culture. When something unpleasant happens, the first thing people do is to pick someone to blame, someone to hold at fault. Unfortunately, that approach doesn’t work very well in solving problems, and it certainly doesn’t work very well in dealing with difficult people.
A very important step in becoming better at dealing with difficult people and situations
is to put the blaming aside. There’s a very simple reason. When you blame
someone you tend to get angry and act angry. When you are angry you are less able
to deal with the difficult situation in a constructive way. You lose control. You say
things you regret. You do all the things human beings
do when they get angry, and unfortunately most of
those things make it worse.
So, consider this situation. An employee approaches you and makes an unpleasant remark about your management ability. I think we’d both consider that a difficult behavior. Is there a problem? Well, that depends on you.
If you react badly, you will create a much worse situation than existed in the first place. If, for example, you reply in some nasty way, then the situation is likely to escalate, becoming an argument. Even worse, your reaction may create problems, not only in the present but in the future as well.
So, while difficult behavior is, for lack of a better word, difficult, how you handle it will determine whether you create a permanent problem and a big blowup, or reduce or eliminate the fallout from the difficult behavior.
It’s up to you. It does take two to argue. It almost always takes two to poison relationships.
It takes two to escalate a small 10-second piece of difficult behavior into an allout
That’s a good thing. It means you—again, let’s repeat, you—as recipient of the difficult behavior often get to determine what happens, provided you keep your wits about you, stay away from blaming, and stay constructive.
If you stay away from blaming the person being difficult, recognize that you can take control of the situation, and understand that what happens after the “first shot” will be determined by your reaction, you will be in a better position to deal with those unpleasant situations.