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What Do You Do When You Don’t Like A Client?

  • August 11, 2022
  • Written by Community Futures Meridian

Have you ever had the opportunity to bring on board a new client but have doubts because you don’t like them and sense that there might be trouble ahead? This can also happen with a new employee or perhaps a regular customer you duck and hide from whenever they come into your store.

The challenge you face is that if you only ever deal with people that you personally like, your pool of customers or employees can shrink, resulting in lost opportunity and potential revenue. It might be better to figure out a way to better deal with those annoying people.

Figure out why

The first step is to find out what it is about them that ticks you off. Is it their personality, beliefs, or the way they dress? Dig a little deeper. Is it a bias you have? It could even be that you see something in them that you don’t like about yourself. Once you understand where the negative feeling is coming from, it is easier to deal with it.

Get a new perspective

If you have to deal with someone you don’t like, ask a colleague what they think of them. Do it in an inquisitive manner, and do not give away that you have doubts or that you actively dislike them. Let them give you their honest opinion. You may be surprised at how differently they view the person.

Cause a Ripple

Some people give off negative energy, and we simply react accordingly. Often, we don’t even know what it is about them that ticks us off; they just do. Other times we find their behaviour annoying; they could come across as arrogant, self-opinionated, brash, too talkative, too shy, tell bad jokes, or perhaps they continually talk politics making any interaction difficult. In these cases, negative energy begets negative energy.

The critical thing to remember is that not everyone can be just like you. Here’s a trick when you find yourself dealing with someone who annoys you or where there is apparent friction—make a considerable effort to be nice to them. This disturbs the natural flow, causing a ripple in the universe if you like. Shaking things up like this can often change how they react to you and, ultimately, how you perceive them.

Focus on what you have in common

Once you have shaken things up by being pleasant, instead of showing irritation, try to see where you share common ground with the person. Perhaps they follow the same sports team as you, love to travel or dote on their grandkids. It doesn’t matter what it is, but having something safe to talk about that is not contentious will enable you to interact with them socially before getting down to business. If an interaction with them becomes prickly, return to a safe topic. This will allow you to hit the reset button.

Focus on the business at hand

You don’t have to like someone to do business with them or even employ them. In a case where none of the techniques above help the situation, be professional and concentrate on the business at hand. Focus on the benefits they bring as a customer, an employee, a supplier, whatever. If they offer no benefit to you or your company, ask yourself why you are dealing with them?

Figure out what triggers you to dislike someone. Once you know what sets you off, you can recognize those traits and dismiss them as things you can’t change, so you need to accept them. We are not all the same, and realizing that can be the first step to being able to work with people to whom you don’t necessarily relate.

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