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PayScale’s VIP Blog Roundup: 7 Easy Ways to Handle Difficult People

No one makes it from their first job until retirement without running into a few jerks along the way. Maybe it’s an overbearing boss, or a gossipy coworker, or a client who habitually changes the goal posts. The details are almost immaterial. The point is that you have to learn to cope with these difficult people … without losing your cool or letting them impact your career.
difficult people
Rosaura Ochoa/Flickr

In this week’s roundup, we look at advice on how to handle difficult people, plus how social media may influence your future job searches and how to deal with email wars in the office.

Marc Chernoff at Marc and Angel Hack Life: 7 Smart Yet Simple Ways to Handle Difficult People

Chernoff writes:

…just as difficult people will always exist in the world, so too will our power to choose how we respond to them. Do we let them make their pain our own? Or do we choose to transform that pain into personal growth and strength? Do we let them win? Or do we choose to win?

It’s hard to make wise choices in the heat of the moment. But when we choose to win and transform pain into personal growth and strength, we aren’t just improving our own lives, we’re also improving the lives of the people we love, and the people who look up to us.

Of course, actually making those wise choices can be pretty difficult. These tips can help.

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Beth Leslie at TalentCulture: Employers May Soon Base Hiring Decisions on Your Social Media Posts. Will They “Like” You?

By this point, you’re probably aware that your social media is telling recruiters a story. But until now, you probably assumed that a little cautious curation of your feeds would ensure that the story was a positive one. Soon, that might not be the case.

Leslie explains:

Even our “likes” can reveal a great deal about us, as a research team at the University of Cambridge found out. Their computer program analyzed the Facebook likes of volunteers before making predictions about aspects of their personality. After just ten likes, the computer proved a better judge of a person’s character than their colleagues. Given 70 likes, the computer could outperform a friend, and 150 likes made it more accurate than a family member. After shifting through 300 of your Facebook likes, this computer would know you better than your partner or spouse.

Why should you care? Because there’s a good chance that hiring managers may soon use research like this to vet applicants via their social media interactions. That would make maintaining a good online reputation a lot tougher than just not posting selfies in a bar.

Before you panic, however, read the rest of the post. There’s some good news for candidates, too.

Michelle A. Riklan at Riklan Resources: How to Deal with Email Conflicts at the Office

If you’ve ever been involved in an email war at work, you know how easy they are to get into — and how hard they are to escape, once they’re going.

But why do they happen? Riklan writes:

Know that you can’t convey body language, pitch, and tone of voice to help convey what you mean when writing an email. That means that something you write that sounds one way in your head can be taken in another context by the recipient of the email.

If that person becomes angry or defensive and emails you back with an inappropriate (to you) response, and you answer, that is how it starts. The next thing you know, people are upset and a proverbial mountain has been made out of a molehill. It is even worse when other people are copied on the email, and become dragged into the war.

Find out how to extricate yourself, with these tips.

Tell Us What You Think

What’s the best career advice you’ve read this week? We want to hear from you. Share your tips in the comments or join the conversation on Twitter.

Jen Hubley Luckwaldt
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