Dismantling difficult people isn’t easy, but it’s definitely worth it. Not knowing how to deal with their fears can only cause more damage and more resentment toward you. That’s why using the N.U.T. job can be pivotal in business, relationships, and any encounters with difficult people. By touching their fears with naming, understanding, and transforming, you pave the way for a more calm interaction, one that doesn’t involve the “survival mode” of the brain, which hinders rational thought.
The first step is Naming.
Difficult people are scared. So the first step is to name the emotion they’re experiencing, whether that is anger, sadness, disappointment, etc. Look for an emotional word such as, “I’m so angry at Fred!” and hints at emotional states like, “I can’t believe I didn’t get the raise! It’s so unfair!”
Acknowledge their pain or fear by reflecting it back to them: “I can’t believe you didn’t get the raise; I can see how that’s very frustrating and disappointing, and unfair too. You worked really hard for this.”
The second step is Understanding.
At this point, understanding the underneath why of why they became upset or caused fear is crucial. What value did it hit for them: money, status, love, service, goods, or information?
E.g., “Did they explain why you didn’t get the raise?” “Yes, they said they were tight on funds … but I’ve worked in this business for years; I deserve a raise anyway. Or at least more recognition.” In this example, status would be the key value.
The last step is to Transform.
After they feel heard and you’ve understood their root value in this situation, it’s time to move on by asking them, What’s next? How do they go from hurt to compassion and understanding?
Here are some great questions directly from the book to ask:
”How can I help?”
”What needs to happens for you to feel better?”
”What role can I play in making this better? What role can you play?
From the last example, “How can you feel better about this situation?” “Maybe setting up a quick meeting or sending an email that I need this raise in order to continue working will help.”