Dealing with difficult people at work

Dealing with Difficult People

It’s not me it’s you!

Here’s some tips for dealing with the trials and tribulations of working with difficult colleagues and clients.

  1. Don’t sweat the small stuff.  Pick which battles you really want to win.  Sometimes it’s easier just to walk away with your head held high.
  2. Don’t dwell on things.  Deal with it and move on. 
  3. Talk things over with someone you trust and who will challenge your judgement.  Your friends and family will always take your side and that’s not always good!
  4. Is it really the other person’s fault or do you need to take a step away and acknowledge your part in the miscommunication.
  5. Are you over reacting?  Do you take everything personally even when the comment was well intentioned?
  6. Work on yourself and your own personal resilience and life and work will become so much easier and enjoyable.
  7. Accept that conflict is a natural process and will happen in the workplace from time to time.
  8. Learn some new techniques for dealing with difficult people and conflict and enter a state of confidence and calm.

Interested in finding out more?  Have a look at our Dealing with Difficult People and Conflict Workshop provisional course outline which is full of interesting insights and practical tips to help you change your approach at work.

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Microsoft Excel – finding a week number

Although it is easy enough to work out the month or year of an Excel date, using the MONTH and YEAR functions, it is not as obvious to work out what week of the year a date falls in.

However there is a function called WEEKNUM which we can use.

The syntax for this is

=WEEKNUM(serial number, return type), where serial number is the cell containing the date and return type is a number 1 or 2 which indicates whether you want the week to begin on a Sunday (1 or omitted) or a Monday (2).

You will then see the relevant week number.

Weeknum

When using Pivot tables, it is easy enough to group dates by Day, Month, Quarter or Year, but not so easy to group on a weekly basis, unless you use the WEEKNUM function. If you use the resulting field as a row label in your Pivot Table, you then have weekly data.

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Microsoft Excel – getting Monday and Wednesday dates into a workbook

I was training the other day and demonstrating sequences with dates, working days etc. Someone asked me whether they could quickly put all Monday and Wednesday dates into a worksheet as these were the days maintenance staff were on site.

Enter the first two Monday and Wednesday dates.

First Monday and Wednesday

Select both cells and then use the fill handle to drag down.

Copied down series

From the Auto Fill Options button, select Fill Weekdays.

Fill Weekdays

You will then have all Mondays and Wednesdays!

Monday Wednesday  dates

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Microsoft Excel – rounding to the nearest 50p

If you want to round monetary figures to the nearest 50p or the nearest 25p you can use the MROUND function which takes a number and rounds it to the desired multiple.

The syntax for this function is MROUND(Number,multiple). So to round to the nearest 50p:

=MROUND(C2,0.5)

MROUND function

And to round to the nearest 25p:

=MROUND(C2,0.25)

MROUND Function

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Microsoft Excel – comparing two columns using conditional formatting

Due to data entry issues, a client had instances where she had the same information for some records in both the Address2 and the Town column. She wanted a quick way of seeing where this was happening. Information stored in two cells can quickly be compared using conditional formatting, highlighting instances where the record has the same results in two columns. Although her issues were not as bad as that shown below it will do as an example!

Duplicate conditional formatting

Select the information in the Address2 column, then on the Home tab, in the Styles group, from the Conditional Formatting dropdown, select New Rule.

Select Use a formula to determine which cells to format.

In the Format values where this formula is true box, type

=$c2=$d2.

Click Format. Select the required formatting, then click OK twice.

The duplicated cells are shown in your chosen format. You can then always filter by colour to see just those records.

Conditional formatting duplicate

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Microsoft Excel – VLOOKUP with prices and Exchange rates

If you have a spreadsheet of items in different currencies and are doing a VLOOKUP to find the prices, you may want to return the items in £ rather than in the mixture of currencies.

In the example below, I want to create an invoice showing prices in £ but on my Items_list, they are shown in a multitude of currencies.

Currency VLOOKUP

I have named the above as ITEMS_LIST.

I have created a Named Range called XRATE of my exchange rates.

Exchange rates

On my invoice sheet, I am using VLOOKUP to find the relevant description for each item.

Currency VLOOKUP

To find the price I am using a VLOOKUP to find the price in the relevant currency and combining it with an INDEX and MATCH to return the answer in £.

VLOOKUP, INDEX and MATCH

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Microsoft Excel – showing column letters in a row of a worksheet

I was asked on a training course recently whether they could show column letters in a row in their Excel spreadsheet. There is probably more than one way to do this, but I did it with a combination of three functions, ADDRESS, LEN and LEFT. The ADDRESS function gives the cell reference itself but you have to decide whether you want that returned as an absolute or relative reference i.e $A$1 or A1 or a mixed reference.

The syntax is =ADDRESS(row number, column number, absnum). Absnum should be 1 for absolute, 2 for absolute row and relative column, 3 for absolute column and relative row and 4 for relative.

In this case it makes most sense to use 4, so =ADDRESS(1,1,4) will return A1, etc. To be able to get cell B1, we can combine this with the COLUMN function which will make the second argument become 2, 3, etc.

=ADDRESS(1,COLUMN(A1),4)

Column1

We now need to get rid of the number 1 from each of these. That would be easy if we were only interested in the first 26 columns as we could just take the leftmost character, but after that we need AA, AB, etc.

So we need to find the length of the address using the function LEN and then keep the number of characters one less than the length. The formula is then =LEFT(A1,LEN(A1)-1) which can then be copied across the remaining columns.

Column2

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Microsoft Excel – sorting within a pie chart

I was asked by a client whether she could sort her pie chart so the largest number was at the top. You cannot really do this within the pie chart itself but you can do it by sorting within the Excel spreadsheet first.

Here is my pie chart before sorting the data.

Pie Chart1

I then sorted the data from largest to smallest. My pie chart now looks like this.

Pie Chart2

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Microsoft Project – colour coding by Resource Group

I was asked by a client recently as to whether she could colour code by Resource Group.

First add column Resource Group to your view. You can always hide it again afterwards. You may also want to got to Gantt Chart Tools Format tab and get rid of the ticks by Project Summary Task and Summary Tasks for the time being though you will want to put them back afterwards.
Then from the Resource Group filter dropdown, get rid of the tick by Select All and put a tick by the first of your groups. If you want to change text colours of background colours in the entry table, select the filtered rows, and on the Home tab in the Font group, select your required font colour and/or background colour.
If you want to change bar colours, go to the Gantt Chart Tools Format tab and in the Bar Styles group, from the Format dropdown, click Bar, select your required colour.
Go back to the Resource Group dropdown, clear the filter and select your next group and follow the above instructions for colouring each group in turn.
This should work as long as not more than one Resource Group is assigned to any task!
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Sending a folder by email

A client just contacted me to ask how she could send a whole folder by email.

The answer is that you will need to ‘zip’ the folder.

Right-click on the name of the folder, click Send to, then select Compressed (Zipped) Folder. You can then email the zipped folder.

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