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  • Sophie Clifford and Eva Edel

Want to know the 5 key steps for dealing with someone who is tricky to handle?

Updated: May 6, 2020

Covid-19 places a strain on relationships at work and at home. But worry not - as mediators we know tested ways of getting through it so we all come out of it stronger.

It may not be easy to know what’s going on for others. Do your best, have a guess but keep an open mind and have a think also about what part you may have played in the situation.

This is about you - how you felt, not so much what they did. So "I felt upset when you ... " not "you're out of order when you ...".

The purpose of your conversation must be to make things better. Stating it has a lot of power.

This is harder than it sounds and means resisting the urge to say your piece (or to walk off). You want them to tell you about their shoe if possible. You can help them by asking nice open questions: what, why, how.

(My kids have agreed to use the code word “labrador” instead of “shut up” when they are getting on each others’ nerves. A surprising but nevertheless helpful step.)

Because we specialise in resolving workplace issues, we have focused on that language but it’s the same skills whether it’s your loved one or your colleague.

This is Part 1 of this series on how to manage relationships during this stressful time. Having these tips at the forefront of our minds will help when the going gets tough; they are not rocket science but if we don’t remind ourselves, we tend to forget them when they are most needed.

It is a given that the stresses of life make it harder to be the best version of ourselves: the version that is patient, kind and constructive. And let’s face it, there are quite a few stresses at the moment. What makes right now so unusual is that everybody everywhere is under pressure at the same time. And that is going to make for a rocky ride in our relationships.

Need some help?

As mediators we know what it takes to make sure we safeguard our relationships despite the hiccups or traumas. Get in touch for a free 15 mn chat - you can share your issue, we can help you prepare or rehearse a conversation. We can talk through any issues you have.

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