We all know at least one – that person who always has to be right. They talk over you, dismiss your ideas, and make you feel inferior. Oftentimes, they don’t recognize their behavior as anything bad. However, they can create a toxic work environment for colleagues. Luckily, there are ways to to deal with these individuals and still maintain a good professional relationship. Below we’ve listed some coping tips for dealing with always right addicts.
Acknowledge Their Viewpoint
The first step to communicating effectively with an always right addict is to acknowledge his or her viewpoint. Listen and respond to the individual, letting him or her know that you’ve heard what they have to say and will take it into consideration. Don’t admit that you’re wrong (unless you truly believe that to be the case) but simply listen. Always right addicts have a need to be heard and giving them a platform fulfills that need. However, this does not mean you are admitting defeat. Simply hear them out and calmly proceed to defend your side.
Communicate in Writing
Communicating via writing helps ensure that your message gets across without interruption. Emailing the individual (and possible cc’ing your boss) may be the ideal way to talk to someone that constantly interrupts or dismisses your ideas.
Reiterate Your Point(s)
When speaking with someone that can’t be wrong, it’s easy to give in to the person’s dominate personality. However, you need to establish yourself as one who won’t be dismissed. One effective way to accomplish this is to reiterate your points in a diplomatic and calm manner. Showing that you stand by your ideas may prevent the always right addict from walking over you in the future.
Having others (particularly those in charge) on your side helps when dealing with an always right addict. Talk to your coworkers and supervisors to get their input on your ideas. You may want them by your side when communicating with those who can’t be wrong. Alternatively, you can keep them in the loop by cc’ing them in emails or bringing up their support of your ideas during conversation.
Dealing with an always right addict is not easy, but the strategies above can help make things much easier. Never give into these individuals simply because it’s easy. Establish yourself as one who will be heard and you’ll earn the respect of your colleagues and possibly the always right addict as well.