How to deal with difficult people

Are you losing your personal power? Your daily marathons with long to-do lists and limited resources can give you a sense of power. Leading teams/business units through crisis can add to your power range. But, dealing with a difficult person can diminish your personal power.


Dealing with difficult people taps into what David Rock defines as ‘Relatedness’ in his brain-based SCARF model.

Relatedness is one of five social domains that are either primary rewards or threats to your brain, so you open up or shut down to people and situations.

Relatedness is about how you relate to and connect with people. It’s about being in or out of a social group and realising that people can be friends or foes. If a foe, your limbic brain is triggered –  you become pessimistic, critical, doubtful and fearful as you navigate a state of threat.

When you feel like you’re losing your personal power, ask yourself 5 questions:

  • Who am I in this relationship?
  • Where are my strengths in this relationship?
  • How can I build trust?
  • What are my personal boundaries?
  • How can I have open, transparent conversations to align expectations?


Where Corporate meets Wellness is fostering trust and building relationships for greater communication, connection and collaboration.


Photo by Adi Goldstein on Unsplash