Dealing with Difficult People

Master the art of navigating workplace challenges with our comprehensive 6-hour course on Dealing with Difficult People. Ideal for professionals seeking to address and manage challenging behaviors effectively, this workshop equips you with practical strategies to handle seven common types of...

  • Audience

    This course will enable participants to effectively address difficult behaviours in the workplace


    No pre-requisites required


    6 hours

    Delivery Method

    Face to face or Virtual
  • Course Objectives

    The course will enable delegates to:

    • Identify seven different types of difficult behaviour in the workplace
    • Identify the underlying causes of each of these types of behaviour
    • Identify steps they can take to prevent these difficult behaviours from arising in the workplace
    • Provide effective feedback to tackle difficult behaviour at work
    • Apply four conflict handling styles to defuse and resolve conflict
    • Demonstrate (through practice) how to respond effectively to difficult behaviour in the workplace
    • Plan how they will apply their learning in addressing difficult behaviours in their own teams

    Course Content

    The course will be based around seven characters who embody behaviours we often find difficult to deal with effectively in the workplace. The characters are:

    • Lazy Lucy
    • Histrionic Henry
    • Withdrawn Wendy
    • Paranoid Pete
    • Controlling Clara
    • Domineering Dave
    • Manipulative Mike

    For each of these we will consider:

    • The causes of their behaviour
    • The effects of their behaviour
    • Ways of addressing their behaviour


    Ways of addressing behaviour will include:


    Undesired behaviours can often be prevented through:

    • Clear standards of required behaviour
    • Drawing up an agreement of desired behaviours and unacceptable behaviours within the team
    • Investing time in getting to know team members and build relationships with them
    • Good two-way communication – both clear communication of policies and requirements, and willingness to listen to team members’ responses and ideas


    Unacceptable behaviour in the workplace can often be addressed through timely feedback, structured as follows:

    • Factual statement of the behaviour involved
    • Effects of that behaviour, and why you are concerned about it
    • What you would like them to do differently in the future

    Activity to draft structured feedback messages.

    Situations involving difficult behaviour at work can often be resolved through the effective use of four different conflict handling styles:

    • Steadying
    • Persuasive
    • Diligent
    • Controlling

    Interactive activity to identify

    • The characteristics of each style
    • The pros and cons of each style
    • Participants’ preferred conflict handling styles
    • How to use each style effectively to address difficult behaviour at work


    Remind delegates that, while it is desirable to prevent and resolve difficult behaviours at work, sometimes you need to address them by following your organisation’s disciplinary procedures.

    Practice sessions in small groups so that participants can practice and receive feedback on their skills in dealing effectively with the seven different characters and their behaviours.