A technical writer needs many skills, including people skills. Learning how to work with difficult people can be a challenge in the software industry where technical communicators are often employed.
More information on this topic is being found in trade journals and booklets. We often have to take on the role of communicator/writer/consultant/analyst when working with difficult people. This multitasking role allows us to monitor the business environment for issues, produce documentation, and provide suggestions. Our clients with these issues have learned a great deal about how this issue impacts the writing and creative process in an organization. We walk though the process with them and make flexible agreements with the understanding that difficult people can negatively impact the outcome of projects.
Addressing this issue saves any company money and most managers dealing with this problem are aware of it. Productivity is lost, morale is low, and complaints never stop. In some cases, managers can assist but the problem still needs a solution.
We have found that introducing new terms and new rules can reduce the negative impact on the project deliverable at the start of the project. Taking a new rules/new terms approach at the beginning of a project can help identify those that are willing to help overcome the negative impacts of difficult people in the workplace.