The ABA’s Law Practice Today offers advice on dealing with difficult people.
Matt Potempa explains his top six tips (excerpt):
1. Listen. . . . Try to understand the source of their frustration while avoiding the temptation to interrupt and correct. . . .
2. Educate without being condescending. Explain your world. . . .
3. Know when to confront and how to deal with difficult realities. Evaluate and choose the appropriate medium of communication for the situation. . . .
4. . . . [B]e tactical yet constructive in your approach. . . . Treat every communication as if it will one day be read aloud in open court or in a conference room. . . .
5. Did you make a mistake? If so, own it, control damage and put measures in place to minimize the same error from happening again. . . .
6. Avoid this happening again. . . . [A]sk yourself whether dealing with a perpetually difficult person is worth it. . . .