Tuesday, 28 October, 2008

Dealing with Difficult People

People who argue with you or have an opinion contrary to yours are what most of us would probably categorise as, and consider to be, difficult people.

Why are they difficult? Is it because they do not agree with your ideas? Because they do not wish to follow what you want them to do? Or do they simply see the world differently from you?

Then welcome to the real world! “Wake up and smell the coffee”, as the famous saying goes. You cannot just see the world through your own eyes. That would present a handicap. It is always better to see things from different angles and understand other perspectives. The world is multidimensional.

Why limit your vision to but one dimension, when you can see more dimensions by considering others’ points of view? Difficult people are like your sharpening stone (whetstone). The more you clash with them, the more you get to sharpen your skills, skills like patience and tolerance, while getting to practice managing your emotions as well.

This is a very important factor in decision-making. The only time you can make personal developments or improve on things is when you are put to the test… when you are being challenged by someone or something.

Perfection only comes after the long process of practice and through overcoming challenges. Take for example a raw diamond; its brilliance can only shine for all to see after continuous polishing and grinding with another diamond. A dull knife can only be sharpened by constant friction with a sharpening stone (whetstone). A steel rod must be hammered, heated, tempered and beaten into shape hundreds of times before it can be truly called a ‘Samurai Sword’.

So if you have difficult people around you, be grateful as the Lord sent them to you so you can improve and learn what you need to from them. Respect them and listen to the opposing views they may have to give you. Love them. Welcome their very being. If not for them, your brilliance may never shine. All you have to do in exchange is to eat a little humble pie. That’s all it takes to be able to deal with difficult people.

Please take a moment to ponder… Welcome difficult people. May they always be there to bring out your own excellence and widen your views. Do not run away from them. Do not hide. Do not be afraid to be challenged by them. Let them lead you. This is the way to perfection.


Joseph Bismark

Group Managing Director, QI Ltd

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