Master Facilitator Journal

Master Facilitator Journal | Issue #0353, July 29, 2008
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This week’s article Dealing with Difficult People, is about learning from our resistances. A large percentage of total cost that goes unnoticed and is not accounted for comes from employee resistance. Whether it is resistance to people, change, ideas, or work, it is impacting your bottom line. We hope this article brings inspiration and courage to making life experiences a practice of self awareness.

We are excited to announce a revolutionary, practical yet thought provoking book, Art of Resilience that will guide you and your organization to minimizing resistance and maximizing resilience (see offer below)

Please join us for our Expert Series Interview with Peter Block on July 31st, 08 at 1 pm EST. Peter is the author of an award winning book Flawless Consulting and will talk about about bringing change through consent and connectedness rather than through mandate and force. There is still space available, so please join us on Thursday July 31st, at 1:00pm EST.

Please continue to send the wonderful feedback. Thank you for being a part of this growing community.


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The Point

Dealing with difficult people
Learning from resistance

Intervention Skill

We have had a few queries specifically asking for ways to handle difficult and challenging people. This is an age old dilemma and simply keeping our reactions under the lid does not create sustainable solutions.
While dealing with difficult people, if we become irritated, antsy, stressed, angry, or frustrated, we succumb to the challenge and miss the opportunity to learn. Think of your interaction with difficult people as a practice session in becoming a pro. If it wasn’t for the challenging situations, , there would be nothing to learn… In my experience, challenging people have taught me the most about myself and my reactions…


The solution lies in understanding the dynamics between the difficult person and the reactions or disturbing thoughts generated in our mind. The wisdom is locked in our reactions and the opposition holds the key to unlock the gems.

The greater the amount of charge our mental disturbance carries, the greater will be the locked up wisdom…

I was coaching a talented executive we will call Mark who came very close in quitting his place of work due to his encounters with a difficult and stubborn colleague we will call Chris. Together we began to closely look at all the different reactions and disturbances that would come up while dealing with Chris. Instead of going into the stories of how terrible Chris was, we kept bringing our focus on Mark’s reactions. Our sessions were about the practice of observing reactions… Initially it was driving Mark insane as he wanted immediate gratification; however, soon he began to see the light at the end of the tunnel… During one of our sessions, right in the middle of sharing a terrible reaction, Mark began to laugh out loud. I smiled and asked him to enlighten me… In Mark’s words, he saw how his own expectations, his ideal script of how things should be and his addiction to results closed him from fully experiencing the flow of events as they were occurring and forced him to anxiously look for what was missing. Mark realized that the reactions were from his own impaired vision and not Chris… Furthermore Mark saw that without Chris, he would have not been able to see how his mind was creating the unnecessary disturbances…

He came face to face with his own demons that were keeping him stuck.


There are many techniques and tools one can use for a short term understanding and awareness into reactions; however, eventually we would want to be able to walk on the tight rope without safety ropes attached and a safety net at the bottom… yes, we would want to dance and perform on the rope without fears and doubts of falling…

Preparing to perform requires practice… Practice begins with using safety ropes till we become proficient. Instead of reacting to the mental disturbance, practice watching the disturbance as ripples in the deep silent lake.

Following is a four step action
2 Look at disturbance as an opportunity to discover what is hidden behind your commotion. Only when the thief is caught red handed can you put her away… Similarly, without the inner disturbance, the discovery is impossible. Instead of resisting disturbance use it as a tool to recognize your resistance underneath the disturbance.

2 Create an alliance with close friends, partner or family. The objective for forming the alliance is to practice brutal honesty, openness and trust. Honesty cuts through nonsense the mind wants to buy into, openness helps embrace discomfort that comes from disturbances, and trust creates self love and acceptance. For instance when I complain to my friend about a difficult person, she has the permission to challenge me by asking a simple question… what stories am I buying into?

2 Increase the capacity for comfort in discomfort. Through the practice of observing and discovering from reactions, we begin to become comfortable with the discomfort. Remember the reaction is inside you not in the difficult person and thus the solution is also inside you not in the difficult person.
2 Remember the silent art of gratitude towards the difficult person for showing the locked up energy inside of you.

Once we gain wisdom from challenging interactions, we naturally become open to other’s point of view or find ways to present our own view in a format that will be received well. Thus creating sustainable solutions for all concerned. There is a gap between the person we are having a challenge with and our expectations of the way things should be. Freedom from the challenge lies in the gap and the practice is your path to slip into the gap…

This Week's Offer



Art of resilience
Unlocking the power of your natural intelligence

Art of Resilience is a practical guide to recover from setbacks through awareness, openness, optimism and courage. Resilience is about artfully combining the power of feelings, critical thinking, and the will to take significant actions for reaching great possibilities.

You will learn practical tools to:
1 Empower yourself and others
1 Enhance ability to live fully
1 Manage emotions
1 Communicate effectively in challenging situations
1 Expand personal influence
1 Increase your creativity

Click here to listen to the Audio of the Introduction

Click here to purchase the ebook

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