Question of the week

How do you deal with difficult clients?

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Antonio Guillem/

It’s inevitable that you’ll encounter a difficult client at least once in your career. Knowing the best way to deal with such an individual may help keep things calm all around.

Writing for Law Practice Today, Matt Potempa of Martin Heller Potempa & Sheppard in Nashville, Tennessee, notes three key tips for dealing with such people:

  • Listen: “Matching their vitriol will only worsen the encounter.”
  • Educate without being condescending: “Explain your world.”
  • Know when to confront and how to deal with difficult realities: “Evaluate and choose the appropriate medium of communication for the situation.”

Screening potential clients is also crucial, Potempa writes. Assessing an individual “is a huge way to reduce the stress of working with a difficult person on a regular basis,” he says.

This week, we’d like to ask you: What are your tips for dealing with a difficult client or any difficult person? Answer in the comments.

Read the answers to last week’s question: Should job interviews be phased out?

Featured answer:

Posted by TAGLAW: “Interviews in their current format should ABSOLUTELY be phased out. First of all, people can pad their resumes with all sorts of artful nonsense that fits the job description and technology provides ways to help them talk their way through the few job related interview questions that arise. The rest is all salesmanship. What happens if you have a brilliant candidate that isn’t a salesman? The fake person presenting themselves as the person they think the recruiter wants them to be is not at all the real person they could potentially hire. The best way to get a gauge of whether a person will fit into an organization is to speak to them in a more natural setting about more natural things. Most recruiters are not trained psychologists so asking how they acted under pressure in one situation in their lives isn’t really enough information for an employer to judge whether or not a person can function in a “fast paced environment” whatever that means.”

Do you have an idea for a question of the week? If so, contact us.

See also: Have you ever felt you had to limit contact with a difficult client?

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