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4 Secrets to Communicating With Difficult People

Whether you are dealing with a grumpy teenager, putting up with a boss that makes your life miserable, or engaging with a difficult person in another context, knowing some of the techniques employed by successful negotiators can help you steer your encounters in the desired direction. That would be a better result than feeling out of control, wouldn’t it?

When we lose control, we go into crisis mode. We swing between anger and hopelessness. We get frustrated and we fall hostage to our negative and disempowering emotions. That’s not a state of mind you want to be in. There is little to gain when a situation controls you, rather than you being in control. You are better off if you have a method that helps you to author your life, even when it gets tough.

Let’s examine 4 secrets employed by successful negotiators to reach agreement with difficult people:

1. Know What You Want.

Clarity of purpose is key for any successful negotiation. Often, we experience emotions that put us down because our mind is clouded and we are unable to understand what’s going. We wonder what our next step should be. Our mind is fogged. We lack clarity. By the time a negotiator sits down at the table, he or she has already identified specific and desired results the negotiation has to produce. So, ask yourself when confronted with a tough situation: What is it that you really want to achieve? What are your goals?

Having a clear, concrete and measurable answer to this question (which might include clarity about what you are not ready to accept and tolerate) will assist you greatly in dealing with a difficult person or situation.

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Zakat eligibility of The FYI

The Family & Youth Institute, or The FYI, is a well-known Muslim organization in the United States. It works to promote mental health and wellness by strengthening and empowering individuals, families, and communities through research and education. It has been working for many years to bring Islamic perspectives to understanding and promoting mental health in our communities.

It is dedicated to serving and supporting Muslims – safeguarding our deen, our families, and our future generations. Therefore, the work of The FYI comes in the category of ‘fi sabeelillah’ or the Path of Allah, within the eight categories where Zakat money can be used.

Zakah expenditures are only for the poor and for the needy and for those employed for it and for bringing hearts together [for Islam] and for freeing captives [or slaves] and for those in debt and for the cause of Allah, and for the [stranded] traveler – an obligation [imposed] by Allah, And Allah, is Knowing and Wise.”
(Al-Tawbah 9:60)

According to scholars who widen the meaning of fee sabeelillah to include any activities that promote Islamic growth, The FYI is indeed eligible to receive part of the Zakat funds for its programs and services. I urge Muslims in America to support this organization through their donations, general charity, and through their Zakat. I ask Allah swt to strengthen and guide The FYI to continue its good work in supporting Muslims.

Shaikh Ali Suleiman Ali, PhD

About Shaikh Ali

Sh. Ali Suleiman Ali was born in Ghana where he spent his childhood studying with various Muslim scholars. He then moved to Saudi Arabia and enrolled in the Islamic University of Madina.  He graduated with a degree in both Arabic and Islamic Studies. Dr. Ali went on to complete his Ph.D. in Islamic Studies at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.

Sh. Ali serves on the Advisory Council of The Family & Youth Institute. He is the Senior Imam and Director of the Muslim Community of Western Suburbs in Canton, Michigan. Additionally, he serves as the Director of Muslim Family Services in Detroit and is a council member of the Fiqh Council of North America (FCNA). He is also a member of the North American Imams Federation (NAIF) and the Association of Muslim Jurists of America (AMJA).