Difficult clients and colleagues come in many flavors. Some are flaky and indecisive. Others are high-strung and demanding. Then you have your garden-variety mean and nasty monsters whose only goal is to make you miserable and late for dinner dates. But take heart. If you remember these three Ps, you just might be able to turn your worst nightmare into your number one fan.
Patience. Yes, it’s always been a virtue, but even more so in public relations. In the heat of a crisis, emotions can run high as everyone strives to right the ship. Don’t get distracted by the chaos swirling around you, it will be over soon. Rather, stay calm, focused, and flexible. Your task at hand is to execute a successful communication strategy and the whole team is relying on you to do a bang-up job; a little patience (ok, maybe a lot of patience), will help you rise above the madness and save the day.
Positivity. With a difficult client or boss breathing down your neck what do you have to be positive about? A lot. Rise to their expectations. Better yet, exceed them. Show them that there’s nothing you can’t handle and do it with a smile. You might find that your positivity will rub off on them and create a better relationship going forward. At the very least, everyone will appreciate your attitude and respect your commitment to successful outcomes.
Perseverance. Hang in there. Crazy clients and co-workers have been around since the beginning of time and guess what: they ain’t going anywhere. There’s nothing you can do about it except persevere, accept the good with the bad and continue to hone your interpersonal skills. Those who push through the tough times will find success and personal satisfaction in the not-too-distant future. You will have earned it.
How you handle your most difficult associates is an important part of establishing your business reputation and moving forward in your career. So stay cool, stay positive and don’t give up.