How to Deal with Frustrating People

There will be times in your leadership career when you have to deal with frustrating people.  That isn’t a character trait, but it does happen from time to time.  People can be frustrating in certain situations.  Here are four tips on how to deal with frustrating people.


Tip 1 – Realize they’re struggling just like you

It’s easy when you are busy as a leader or urging your team to meet a tight deadline to forget that your employees might be struggling just like you.  Only for different reasons.  You’re struggling to get tasks accomplished.  They might be struggling because they have to home school while trying to keep up with their job.  Their spouse might have lost their job in these crazy pandemic times.

You forget that people have things going on.  As stressed as you are, people have other stresses in their life as well.  Stop and ask if there are things you can do as their leader to remove roadblocks or make their job easier.

Tip 2 – Consider their competence and confidence

You might be frustrated with an employee because you gave them the assignment. Why didn’t they get it done?  Did you consider their competence for the task?  Have they completed the task before and have the confidence to do it again?  There is a competence confidence loop.  The more times someone completes a task, the more confidence they have around that task.

To reduce your frustration, consider their competence and confidence around a given task, and apply the correct leadership style.  You can delegate, coach, directly show them, or support them as they work on the task.  Make sure you understand their ability to complete the task.

Tip 3 – Have I been 100% clear on my expectations?

Does this employee know without a doubt the expectations of the task or job?  Did you clearly articulate what you need, when you need it, and in what format the deliverable is to be?  If you have, and they still don’t deliver, then you have a right to be frustrated.

My guess is you didn’t communicate 100% clear expectations.  Did they take notes when you had a conversation?  Did you give an explicit deadline or did you say you wanted it next week?  Did you say you wanted excel and not google sheets?  Your employees aren’t mind-readers, make sure you are giving clear expectations.

Tip 4 – You can’t control everything

The world is a big place and things happen in life.  It’s impossible for you to be everywhere and to control every situation.  If you are constantly frustrated with everybody, maybe consider it isn’t your lot in life to control everything.  You get frustrated because you aren’t in control of every situation.

As a leader realize there’s a lot of random stuff that might happen.  Especially in today’s pandemic driven world.  Your role is to be present, patient, and provide an even keel when things go awry.  Do your best in those situations and your frustrations will disappear.

I hope you benefit from these four tips on how to deal with frustrating people!

As always, it is an honor to serve you and I hope that you and your company are getting better every day!

Follow me on Twitter

Join me on LinkedIn

Listen to the podcast here

Scroll to Top