Life would be so much sweeter if we only ever had to deal with happy, smiling people who are pleased to see us. Sadly, no matter what industry you work in it is almost certain that you come across difficult people on your projects.

They might constantly complain about your work, put obstacles in your way or just make life more difficult for you then it has to be. So, how can you deal with in a way that keeps your projects on track?

Stay Professional

The biggest risk here is that you get drawn into some sort of argument with the awkward people. Whether they are stakeholders, team members or end users, fighting with them is going to make your projects tougher than it has to be.

When you use the PRINCE2 methodology you are promising that you will deal with the work in a professional, responsible way. This is an approach that gives you the framework to do a top class job from start to finish.

However, as soon as you get lulled into petty arguments and poor behaviour you lose a big part of this professional attitude. Therefore, you need to stay away from silly fights and other things like this, regardless of the provocation that you feel you receive.

Make Sure Your Team Members All Work in the Same Way

The last point is all well and good but only if every single member of your PRINCE2 sticks to it. If anyone gets drawn into heated discussions then it is going to reflect badly on you and the rest of the team.

To make sure that they are totally professional in their approach, you should arrange for their PRINCE2 courses once they are ready for it. This will give them the knowledge needed to work on these projects to a high standard.

You can then make the point about behaving professionally when you get together at team meetings and other events. This will help everyone to stay on the same message even in a tough, tense project.

Communicate Well and Regularly

Sometimes, good communication at the right time can head off problems before they even arise. If you have potentially difficult people on your project then this becomes even more of an issue than would otherwise be the case.

It is worth pointing out that good communication is a big part of the PRINCE2 methodology. Even on seemingly straightforward projects you should be making your communication a priority that you never neglect.

This can mean holding regular project meetings, organising workshops or just sending out information regularly to the people that you know are interested in what you are doing. Make a communication plan at the very beginning and then do your best to stick to it at all times.

Listen to Feedback

One sure way of making any project more difficult is by refusing to listen to what other people say. You might be sure that you know exactly what to do but this doesn’t mean that you should ignore what is said to you.

Business experts may want an easier solution and stakeholders may prefer that you run your projects in a different way. By being open to these and other suggestions, you will take into account some issues that you may have missed on your own.

Even projects with difficult people involved in them can become a lot smoother and more pleasant to work on. Don’t let your project get dragged into problems that can be easily avoided just by planning ahead and working smartly at all times.