75% of dealing with difficult people and situations is understanding. 25% of dealing with difficult people and situations is skill and technique.
The good news is it’s something we can all improve upon; most of us are not born with the ability to handle the sticky wickets among us. Practice every chance you get, as the opportunities are bountiful. Before diving in, strive to understand the person, the situation, the real issue, and the real obstacles. If all else fails, ask the person you’re dealing with his/her take on the situation, so you can at least agree on where the gaps are.
So ask yourself: How can I better understand a person or situation this week I have perceived as “difficult”?