What You Can Learn From Kim K

Forbes came out with a list titled ‘America’s Highest-Paid Reality Stars‘ of 2016 and it mentions 7 people, who altogether earned $133 million USD.

And guess what, out of those, 6 of those people are the Kardashian/Jenner family and they’re responsible for $122.5 million USD.

Given what we’ve been witnessing from Kim Kardashian for the last couple of years and her insuppressible hunger for publicity you will either love her or hate her, she’s an empire and her business ability should be noted.

Here are 6 things we can all learn from Kim Kardashian West:

1. Own it!

 

Don’t take things too seriously.

Yes, sometimes, KKW can be a hot mess with the things headlines say about her, but with the number of people stalking her every move, I don’t think anyone can be perfect in the limelight 24/7.

To be able to cut out the negativity to carry on being who you are with confidence is something we could all take notes on.

According to an interview at the BlogHer16 event,

I used to care about all of the comments. I would go out at night, I would come home and I’d look on the computer and see what they were writing and see what they were saying. I think as you get older, I mean, you just mature. I still don’t think everyone really has a thick skin.” Kim goes on to say “I think if you do something, because you genuinely like it, no matter what it is, you shouldn’t look for a reaction to validate you. You can look at the reaction for fun or if you’re interested, for validation I don’t do that, so I don’t really get hurt by the comments.

In the end, no matter what you do, whether it’s you’re business, brand or even just as a person, you’re always going to have haters.

My mentor once taught me the 1/3rd rule.

The rule implies that 33.3% of people are always going to hate you no matter what you do.

The other 33.3% are going to love you.

The last 33.3% are going to be indifferent towards you. It’s all about where and who you choose to focus your energy on because seeking validation from anyone other than yourself is going to dwindle your confidence and drive.

2. Family is the best support system

 

If you’ve been Keeping Up With the Kardashians, you’ll notice that past the numerous scandals and meltdowns, the show never failed to highlight the love and strong support that they have for one another.

In moments of struggles and public scrutiny, they were each other’s best support system.

Take it from the Klan; the love of our own family is incomparable and unbreakable.

The common adage ‘don’t mix family and business‘ ironically enough doesn’t apply to the Kardashians.

In an article by Entrepreneur Middle East, there are actually a lot of positives that can come out of having a family business such as the importance of trust, shared visions and expectations, keeping pace, values, and nurture.

Another great example of a successful family business is the Kattans.  Hudabeauty flourished in recent years and they employ a staff of 22.  Alya is the social media expert, Mona heads strategy and of course, Huda is the face and the creative head of the company.

Think about how you can involve your family to build a name to benefit your brand or business, and about what you can do for them in return.

Not only does it allow you to share knowledge, it can open up opportunities, widens your support system and brings about new ideas. Leverage your network!

 3. Marketing is everything

 

Social media has impacted how we communicate in our society in such a huge way, KKW is not afraid to innovate and make use of it.

With millions of followers on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, Kim can instantly access, engage and reach her audience with just one post, and she does it consistently.

KKW is constantly advertising and marketing her brand, her image, and her products.  With that many followers, comments, likes, and views, she manages to make her brand insanely popular and sought-after.

Whether you follow her or not, she’s going to pop up on your news feed!

According to People, Kardashian is also known for her ability to create ‘unparalleled success online‘, and has received the very first ‘Break the Internet’ awards by Webby Awards in 2016.

She has the ability and talent to use the Internet to generate a buzz to grab peoples attention.

There’s a number of ways in which KKW has ‘broken the Internet’, for example, when she posed naked for Paper Magazine.

Through her unique marketing strategies, Kardashian continues to earn success on everything she puts her hands on and shows that any publicity, is good publicity if you’re willing to take a chance and bare the consequences that may come with it.

This allows her to stay relevant in today’s world, which is another important marketing technique that all business owners and brands can learn from.

4. Stay relevant

Staying relevant is very important in our ever-changing environment.

Another way the business-savvy A-lister stays popular with a continuous growing following is through staying up-to-date with all the latest trends and fashions.

According to Bill Svoboda,

You don’t need to advertise a good party; a good party advertises itself. That’s what it looks like to be relevant.

Kardashian-West has always managed to stay relevant through her reality TV show since 2007. She boosted her popularity and got noticed more by always mingling with famous people. Other things that caught public attention was filming an explicit tape, posing fully nude, marrying someone for only 72 days, etc.

Another way through which KKW stays relevant is by changing up her style frequently and dramatically.  She does this quite often—one day she’ll post a selfie of her brunette, the next she would go platinum blonde.

She also tries to change up her style by making risky fashion choices or maybe even going to high-end events with a bare face. KKW is continuously switching it up—and people notice, which makes her stay relevant in today’s media.

5. Take risks

 

The higher the risk, the bigger the return.

KKW is not afraid of opportunities and exposure.

She’s successfully earned millions of dollars year after year and has been considered Time’s most influential people in 2014. A successful entrepreneur, who earns from endorsements—all essentially stemming from an explicit video and from then onwards, how she took risk after risk reinventing herself like any smart entrepreneur.

An example of this is how she took a chance in an industry that no one expected her to set foot in the technology industry.

This was through her app ‘Kim Kardashian: Hollywood’ which generated a whopping $71.8 million USD, and she takes home 40% of it, according to Cosmopolitan.

People that are willing to take risks, tend to get further in business and in life.

According to Inc.,

Risk takers climb the company ladder faster and make more money.

Jason Hanold, who is a CEO of the executive search firm Hanold Associates claims, that when you take a risk, you open avenues of opportunities for accelerated learning and compensation in comparison to someone who finds comfort in their position which creates stagnation.

We tend to underestimate our abilities to handle the consequences of risk, over-estimate the probability of something going wrong so sit back and think to yourself if you really want to ignore the cost of inaction.

The next time you see an opportunity that can pave the way to more probabilities of growth, take them.  For example, try and rise to the occasion and volunteer to take lead on that project, trust that employee or start that company you’ve been wanting to!

6. Collaboration and having a great team

 

Collaboration is also another technique through which KKW climbed to the top.

From when she first started off as Paris Hilton’s personal stylist, girlfriend to Ray J, to having her own reality TV show, Kardashian-West has always had been collaborating to build her brand image from day one.

This year, Kardashian-West has collaborated with almost every up-and-coming or well-known makeup artist in videos and through posts for the launch of KKW Beauty.

This creates an association of certain people and public figures with the brand, which is another smart tactic when building your brand image.

As an effect, according to Forbes, her products were sold out within two hours of being launched. That’s $14.4 million all before 3 pm.

Another example of how crucial the right support could be is how Kardashian’s makeup artist Mario Dedivanovic rose to success through the right exposure.

According to Bob Mudge, president of Consumer and Mass Business at Verizon,

Collaboration is no longer just a strategy: it is the key to long-term business success and competitiveness. Businesses that realize this sooner rather than later will be the ones who win the game and succeed in the new global economy.

Essentially, it’s important to understand that having a great team behind you who you trust and can gain support from for your cause or purpose is only going to be a strength whether you’re just starting out or have been a well-established brand for many years.

To bring it all together, KKW has mastered the art of marketing genius—and okay, maybe it’s not the same genius as when Albert Einstein comes to mind (unless we’re talking about her gravity-defying…facelifts), but a genius none-the-less.

So, let’s hold back our scowls and trendy opinions on the countless reasons for why we should hate her and learn a thing or two about how to be successful in our own brand or business.

Take it from the Kardashian-Jenner Klan; they are living proof that you’re not defined by your name, where you come from, your degree or even your past.

It’s about how hard you’re willing to learn, work and grow in all aspects of life be it business or as an individual (in the words of KKW), bible!

6 Incredible Reasons You Need to Start Power Dressing

Every individual has a unique style and clothing is one of the biggest ways to express it.

The way we dress can influence their position or authority in the workplace.

Power dressing is a phenomenon that came about in the 1920s and started with the Chanel suit.

The suit was a representation of a turning point of the way women dressed as it had masculine elements in it that gave women an authoritative appearance in order to be accepted as equals in the professional world.

In other words – the way you dress can have a huge impact on the kind of message you want to send across.

Power dressing is extremely important with incredible positive influence that many look past.

Here are 6 solid reasons for why power dressing is an essential in the workplace:

1. You Make Your First Impression Count

 

According to research, you have around 7 seconds to make a first impression.

I know – crazy.

As soon as you walk in a room full of people you don’t know, they can make a judgment about you before you even get to say anything!

The time they spend after the first 7 seconds will be about validating that judgment. People have little to no control over first impressions because they are involuntarily driven by their subconscious to notice small details fast.

It’s up to you how you come across and whether or not you want to make that first impression count.

The way you dress and carry yourself will speak volumes about the kind of person you are and if whether or not others want to associate themselves with you.

Regardless of whatever job you’re entering – whether it’s entry level or CEO, you need to make an impact.

2. You Gain Respect

 

Notice what all people in power have in common: their way of dressing.

Whether it’s a celebrity, an influencer, a manager or a CEO, they all carry a unique style that shows their position of authority.

Power dressing can have a major impact on your career and as mentioned before, it allows people to see the best version of yourself.

In order to gain respect from your fellow colleagues or your audience, you need to ask yourself if what you’re wearing shows whether or not others can take you seriously.

Yes, there are exceptions – for example, how Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg or Bill Gates.

However, their success and achievements speaks for itself.  Be conscious of the way you want to present and portray yourself. Be weary of your surroundings and understand what you can and cannot get away with.

If you’re working in the corporate world, you should be avoiding anything low-cut or mini like the plague.

If you’re presenting, make sure you’re dressed in a way that is appropriate for the mass audience.  Always be conscious of your surroundings and who’s watching.

3. You’re Prepared

 

Dressing well at work keeps you prepared for any unexpected meetings or important people you may run into.  Imagined you’re dressed sloppy and that’s the day you get called in for an important meeting with your boss – it’s never a good impression.

The way you dress is important for your appearance and to keep up with.

You never know the opportunities that you might miss by putting an end to your chances before things even start.

Don’t get me wrong – being uncomfortable is important.  Wear clothes that you don’t have to keep on fixing every two minutes, that won’t distract you or that aren’t too tight in order to maintain being well dressed and comfortable at the same time.

Some ways to keep prepared is by bringing an extra pair of heels and keeping them at the office or having a blazer on stand-by.

4. If You Look Good, You Will Feel Good

It’s incredible how much influence the clothes we wear have on us. Ever heard the saying,“if you look good, you’ll feel good”?

Even though a lot of people don’t believe it to be true, research has come out and shown that the clothes we wear, do in fact have an effect on our confidence, mood, attitudes and overall social behavior – which defines your body language.

When you look the part, you’re more likely to be the part.

Just think about the difference in your confidence if you put on some sweats and a pajama top compared to if you wear a well-tailored work dress in a board meeting.

Yes – you’re still the same person, you can express the same ideas and have the same knowledge but you’re definitely going to feel more confident in the latter attire.

There has been a lot of scientific research that backs up this psychology, in one by Peluchette and Karl on ‘The Impact of Workplace Attire on Employee Self-Perceptions’; it was found that participants felt most trustworthy, competent and authoritative when wearing business attire.

5. You Break Stereotypes

 

A lot of women have reported that they don’t feel heard or taken seriously in the workplace. This is usually because of many factors.

Certain women still feel discriminated against in some fields of work. Power dressing is a way to break through the stereotypes and to let your voice be heard.

It shows that you’re there to be taken seriously and respected.

Although this doesn’t mean that everything will change overnight, but it’s definitely a step in the right direction.

6. You Express Your Personality

 

Today’s power dresser isn’t afraid to express their personality through their clothes!

Gone are the days where there was a formulaic way of dressing for the workplace – just because you’re dressed formal doesn’t mean it has to be boring.

The clothes you wear can always express your nature in a certain way – you just have to find what compliments you.

Wearing something that can give you a distinct look can actually work in your favor.  Everyone has a ‘trade-mark’ – and that’s what makes them special.

A little creativity doesn’t hurt and can help you stand out from the crowd and appear more as an individual.  Showing your individuality is also an expression of power when done right and subtly. You can do this with your earrings, heels, your handbag or accessories.

However, avoid going overboard because you don’t want to look too distracting.

To Bring it Together,

Every individual has a unique style and the way they power dress can influence their position or authority in the workplace.

Put in the effort and embrace power dressing whether it’s for a special meeting, a quick lunch with your coworkers or when going in for a new job interview.

8 things I learned from Richard Branson

Keep things fun and keep going – this is just one of the many simple, yet powerful ideas, that I personally learned from Richard Branson himself.  Imagine, for a man who is in his 60s and very accomplished, Branson still says that he doesn’t want to retire and that there’s still so much for him to do – he’s still happy to work, travel, and explore.

I’ve met and interviewed Branson on a number of occasions and all I can say is that this mega-entrepreneur man is always quirky, never boring, beyond inspiring, and limitless!

I learned so much from him and realized a lot, especially when it comes to managing my business and team.  So here are a few success tips from Branson that I’ve adopted:

1. Hire people that bring skills you don’t have 

 

I surround myself with people who have knowledge and talents in areas where I might not be so well versed.

One of the smartest things you can do for your business is hiring people who can turn your weaknesses into strengths.

For example, digital marketing and SEO are vital elements for client acquisition in my business. Since those areas require a specific skill set to handle such tech, I would hire digital-savvy people to specifically look into the optimization of our online efforts to ensure and generate higher rankings and traffic towards my business.

From a business owners perspective, you can’t be perfect.

A lot of people possess transferable skills that you as an owner could implement. So looking for those individuals who can fill in those gaps could be a great asset to the growth of your business.

Think about the potential problems you could come across in some of the areas in your business and recruit someone with the capability of abrogating those issues in order to make the necessary improvements. Your Business will definitely benefit from having people with diverse skills and ideas that will not challenge and develop the company but will also contribute to its building foundation in the future.

will definitely help build and develop your company

Your business will definitely benefit from having diverse people with diverse skills and ideas to challenge and develop the company into the future.

2. Make business fun 

 

If you’re spending most of your life at work, it should not be a chore, it should be fun.

Dedication to fun’ is one of Branson’s philosophies that successfully cultivated the brand image and culture of the multinational corporation venture capital, ‘Virgin Group’.  One of Branson’s recommendations is breaking down barriers in your business’ corporate hierarchy through team-building, marathons, events, parties, and other initiatives that will enhance social connections that will help in maintaining a comfortable vibe and atmosphere for the team to brainstorm and share ideas openly.

Every week, you spend more time with your colleagues than your family – which means, the office almost becomes your second home.  If the work environment is not fun and running on a cut-throat culture – not to mention the pressures, KPIs to be met, and frustrations from clients – would you be excited to come to work? Would you be creative and productive?

It will surely be depressing for you.

Create a culture where your team members would love to work and allow them to laugh. In my office, I always encourage my team members to play music, brainstorm over chocolate croissants and cheese sticks (because that’s what I love to eat), doodle on the whiteboard, engage in various activities/games during our sales meeting, capture their office moments and post on social media, laugh over crazy ideas, and so on – things that I know will trigger their creativity and positive energies.

When I see my team members enjoying what they do, it makes me proud, happy, and excited to work with them every day.

3. Marketing is key 

 

You can create business, choose a name, but unless people know about it, you’re not going to sell any products.

Imagine this – you can always have the best product in the world and spend so much time crafting the packaging and yet, no one would know or hear about it. If that’s the case,  your product isn’t going anywhere.  How you invest in marketing your product is so crucial, that’s why you should never take it for granted.

Just like Branson, I too believe in the power of marketing – especially, inbound marketing. Businesses could take advantage of marketing trends and venues to be ahead of the game. Some of these trends are; social media, live-streaming and influencer marketing that are growing rapidly in this continuously evolving world we live in today.

Having the craziest ideas and right strategies are the simplest way to draw attention to your business.Don’t think what’s the cheapest way to do it, the fanciest way to do it, or the fastest way to do it. You want people to remember your brand. You need to execute that WOW factor into your product and brand.

4. Your team is everything! 

 

Treat your team like family.

Making your team a top priority can bring benefits for both your customers and investors. As to how Branson further explains it,

It should go without saying, if the person who works at your company is 100% proud of the brand and you’ve given them the tools to do a good job and they are treated well, they’re going to be happy. Effectively, in the end, shareholders do well, the customers do better, and your staff remains happy.

The success of your business relies on your entire team.  When you care for and treat your team like family, your team will make the effort to go that extra mile and in turn becomes more productive. Additionally, you will establish mutual trust and respect whilst ensuring that the interest of the business is looked after.

5. Diversify

 

You should never be afraid to diversify if you are in a position to do so because nothing stays ever exactly the same.

Richard Branson is the prime example of a diversified success.  With the first launching of his first business, ‘The Student Magazine’ in the 1960s, to the launching of ‘Virgin Records’ and other ventures under the Virgin brand, Branson is a proof that implementing diversification as a business strategy really does work.

Don’t put your eggs in one basket.

As for me, I’m able to diversify by venturing into complementary businesses (example: an agency that supply MCs or hosts and an academy that teaches individuals or management professionals how to be good at public speaking), as well as in e-learning and e-commerce.

As an individual, you can also diversify by investing your savings in properties or small businesses.  Diversifying is good because if you lose one thing, you don’t lose everything.

6. Attitude and perspective is everything

 

Stay positive; attitude is everything.

I think, one of the most vital steps you can take towards achieving your greatest potential in life is learning how to monitor your attitude and how it impacts yourself, what you do, and the people around you.

Attitude and perspective are like the foundation and backbone behind personal success.  There will be tough times.  Things may not work in your favor.  Business may not be progressing as expected.  Projects may not be coming to actuality. But whatever happens, stay optimistic, stay focused, and stay enthusiastic.  It’s attitude and perspective that make tough times manageable.

Also, adopt an attitude of gratitude.  When you start the gratitude practice, not only you tend to exude and share that positive energy but also you’ll see that all of a sudden things start to fall into place for you and your business.

7. Perfection is unattainable

 

There’s an inherent danger in letting people think that they have perfected something. When they believe they’ve ‘nailed it’, most people tend to sit back and rest on their laurels while countless others will be laboring furiously to better their work.

Branson has the right attitude when it comes to perfection, and this point made is a truly genius one.  Many people think that once they believe they’ve perfected something, they can sit back and relax.  Whilst you’re slacking, others are working very hard and they will soon surpass you if you just lay back and let them.

So, I think it’s OK to never give anyone a 100% perfect review of their work.  I believe that no matter how brilliantly conceived something is, there is always room for improvement.

8. Be a leader, not a boss

 

Perhaps, therefore, it is odd that if there is any one phrase that is guaranteed to set me off it’s when someone says to me,

‘Okay, fine. You’re the boss!’

What irks me is that in 90 percent of such instances what that person is really saying is,

‘Okay, then, I don’t agree with you but I’ll roll over and do it because you’re telling me to. But if it doesn’t work out I’ll be the first to remind everyone that it wasn’t my idea.’

Admit it – at one point when you started your business, you’re so excited to be a “boss” and look into leading and managing people.  But, it takes more than just bossing people around to be a leader.

While a leader can be a boss, not every boss can be a leader.  Although leaders and bosses have nearly identical definitions, in effect, they are different in substance and approach.  As such, a leader motivates than terrify; a leader listens and speaks rather than command.

Each week, I sit down with my team and discuss their accomplishments and backlogs from the previous week.  I always take this opportunity to redirect their focus to their weekly goals and objectives, to help them practice self-awareness and gauge their performance on their own, and to motivate them to become more.  Knowing that I’m leading my team towards the right direction, that in itself is an achievement for me.

I hope that you’ll apply these simple yet very powerful ideas to your life and business.  Once you did, feel free to share with me the significant effects and changes that you’ve experienced.  I’d be delighted to read them!

Let’s keep things fun and keep going,

Shereen

How to Make a Killer First Impression

Did you know that the moment you meet someone new, they’ve already made an impression about you?  It just takes one tenth of a second.  Everyone judges, consciously or subconsciously – it’s human nature and uncontrollable.  It’s just the way our minds work.

I’ll give you some time to take that in.

Done?

I’m sure you realized the extreme importance of making a lasting and killer first impression and I’m going to show you 5 of ways how:

1. Dress to Impress

Take the time to put in thought and effort into your dressing.  Make sure your clothes are ironed and clean because you think we don’t notice – but we do.  More so, be aware and appropriate of how you’re dressing and for what.  For example, if you’re going into a business meeting, don’t wear short skirts that rise above the knee or wear a shirt that could potentially be showing your cleavage.

It’s not a good look.

Be appropriate and conscious of the message you want to send out to your boss and coworkers.

The colors you have different psychological effects on how other people perceive you too.  For example wearing red expresses power, black represents formal and blue shows that you’re a team player.

Check out my article here on power dressing.

2. Show Confidence

This doesn’t mean be arrogant or egoistic because that can switch people off quicker than you think.

It means be confident in the sense where you’re comfortable in your skin.

Show other people that you’re not nervous and that you’re perfectly content with yourself in the current situation.  It makes you look more approachable and reliable as well, it exudes responsible traits and in return.

If you’re not a very confident person, being conscious of all these things will psychologically start making you actually feel it.

A great way to show confidence is through smiling. Smiling is welcoming, makes the other person feel comfortable and portrays you as someone who is trustworthy.

I’ve recently written an article on the power of a smile and it’s incredible the effects that it can have on someone.

3. Be Conscious About Your Body Language

Similarly to confidence, make sure you’re conscious of your body posture as it speaks for itself.  The way you walk and hold your back can show confidence and gives off an authoritative vibe to others.

One example of this is keeping your shoulders square when you’re talking to someone new which makes you look natural and relaxed.

Avoid fidgeting as it shows that you’re either nervous or intimidated which will subconsciously and naturally give the other person a feel of power over you.

Another important aspect to remember is to keep eye contact when you’re talking to someone.  Be conscious about if you’re focused on the other person and what they’re saying but at the same time don’t make it look like you’re staring.

Match your eye contact with your overall facial expression.

4. Have the Perfect Handshake

Your handshake can say it all.

A lot of people aren’t conscious about their handshake but it’s surprisingly important aspect of making a first impression.

You may think that because it’s subtle it has little effect but in reality and psychologically, having a firm handshake shows strong character and portrays strength enhancing positive feelings in the other person.

According to Dr. Douglas Fields in an article called ‘The Power of a Handshake’, non-verbal and physical touch allows our mind to tap into the other person’s mind,

This communication through touch and body language conveys vital information through a rich unconscious and universal language that transcends spoken language.

Take politicians as an example, they exude power and all their campaigns and meetings start and end with a strong handshake.

5. Be Culturally Aware

Let’s take it a step further. In our globalized world today, we have the privilege of meeting people from all around the world.  It’s important to educate ourselves in being aware of other people’s traditions and cultures.

First impressions can differ greatly based on who you’re meeting.  Furthermore, when you’re culturally aware, the other person highly appreciates the fact that you took the time to actually familiarize yourself with their traditions – and that leaves a great impression.

Some examples of this is how in the West, a strong handshake symbolizes strength and authority while in some African cultures, a weaker handshake expresses the same message.

Another example is of if you’re in an Islamic country where there different culture to the West, men have to be aware about not giving out their hand first and instead waiting for the woman to initiate as some cultures are more conservative.

Bringing It Altogether,

In essence, body language and gestures can easily tell a person a lot about someone’s character.  When you make a first impression, that sticks with the other person and for the time that they talk to you, subconsciously, they keep trying to justify why they made that first impression through the way you carry yourself in the conversation.

Being conscious about your body, your words and your thoughts while expressing confidence can help you greatly in making a killer first impression.

There are no second chances in making a first impression.

5 Ways Smart People Deal With Difficult People

We all face difficult people. While some come across them every now and again, the unlucky ones have to deal with them on a daily basis whether it’s in the workplace or at home. It can be pretty easy to lose your calm and cool because difficult people can be very challenging to deal with. At times, it can go as far as affecting our perfectly good day.

I’m going to share with you 5 effective ways on how to deal with ‘energy-drainers’.

1. Realize and Set Your Intention

 

Some people may argue that your intention doesn’t really matter as much as the outcome; however, in the big scheme of things our intentions really do matter because they color our actions.  Your intentions have a big influence on the way you act – consciously or subconsciously.

When dealing with a challenging person, stop and think to yourself about what your intention is towards them.

Is it to hurt them?

Is it to understand them?

Is it just to get the job done?

Your intentions are a great guide for your thoughts and actions and setting them can stop you from falling back into old patterns of reactions or negativity that you may have had.

Your intentions come out to be a great ‘guide’ for what you’re thinking and for how you want to act.  Once you’ve identified what kind of a response you want out of the person, it can also help you from falling back into times when you let your negativity or reactions get the better of you.

Once you pinpoint what your objective is, that’s when you can start trying different means to reach that end goal.  Depending on what it is that you’re trying to get out of them, you have to understand what makes them responsive.

2. Listen to What They Have to Say

 

A huge part of being a good communicator is knowing how to listen.

Sometimes when we’re so busy reacting, we forget to actually listen.  Once you start listening to understand instead of to just reply, you might realize that there’s a reason why they’re being the way they are.  It could be because they’re just going through a breakup, a personal family issue or even something to do with at work.

A lot of people don’t feel comfortable voicing their problems to others, and some don’t feel like they have anyone to talk to.  By putting yourself in a position of wanting to listen to what’s bothering them, you’re already helping out making the situation better.

Allowing them to share their thoughts and opinions on things can actually go a long way.  Be open to have them say their part and show a genuine interest in what they have to say through making eye contact and even going the extra mile to ask questions.

3. Pick Your Battles

 

Personally, I’d call this a skill because not a lot of people know how to do it.

Picking your battles means that not everything deserves your reaction.  Sometimes even when you think you’re right, it’s wiser to keep quiet because not all individuals who are difficult require confrontation about their behavior.

According to Psychology Today, there are two situations under which you have to make a decision on whether or not to get involved.

For example if you’re dealing with a co-worker that you don’t get along with but is a good team member, you should take the high road.  If you’re dealing with someone temporarily, it’s worth not getting involved because this person won’t have any power over you later.

4. Be Relatable

 

It may take trial and error, depending on person-to-person and the ‘degree of difficulty’, however, it’s certainly not impossible.  Everyone has a trigger point or something that just makes him or her ‘tick’.

Based on whom it is you’re dealing with, you should be able to have close idea on what’s going to make them respond.  For example, if it’s a boss, talk to them about all the progress you’re making before asking for something, if it’s a sibling, do something that they like and enjoy to get them in a better mood and so forth.

By being relatable, you’re creating a genuine connection between yourself and the other person and you bring out the other person’s want to connect with you, too.

It creates a common ground for people between each other and makes others feel like they’re not alone.  For example, have you ever felt like you were the only one but then felt a genuine connection towards someone who shared a similar experience or opinion?

That’s what I mean.

5. Set Consequences

 

The last resort is to set consequences for their actions.  Respond with your actions rather than trying to discuss and talk out your problems.  Being able to assert consequences for others’ actions requires a lot of confidence and patience.

Similar to what you do with children, setting consequences can be a necessary response to unacceptable behavior.  People are more likely to repeat the behavior if you don’t draw boundaries of respect.  Drawing boundaries and sticking to them will force the other person to abide if they still want to be around you.

Above all, don’t feel guilty for setting boundaries and consequences.  You may feel the other person trying ways to make you feel bad for what you’re doing, for example, by trying to emotionally blackmail you and play the victim card but focus on the end result and rise above how difficult it might potentially be.

To Wrap it Up

Like I said, everyone comes across difficult people in their lives at one point or another.  It’s inevitable and that’s why it’s important to understand how we can deal with them.  Some are obnoxious, some might make you feel bad about yourself and some might actually get in the way of your growth.

Whoever they are or however they are, there is one thing they all have in common – that they have to be addressed and dealt with.