Tactics for tackling difficult people in life and work

4.4 (5535)
Learning paid
1 hour coourse
Course by Udemy
What will you learn?
Identify the most common kinds of ‘difficult’ behaviour
Recognise and use the four key skills of self-empowerment when faced with challenging behaviour
Use their listening and other skills to create an effective communications 'stance'
Pre-empt difficult situations and stop them from escalating
Be able to 'forward plan' and employ strategies to counter difficult behaviour
Avoid the common pitfalls and stay out of self-defeating cycles of response
Understand how to separate the 'problem' from the 'person'.
Understand how to separate thoughts from feelings to help gain mastery
Use key strategies like ASSUME and SALVAGE to take control of difficult interactions
Plan for more successful outcomes with relationships at work, home and socially.
About the course

Anyone involved with others – at work or at home – who wants to tackle difficult behaviour more effectively will enjoy this course. It'll help you successfully settle those difficult interactions that just won’t resolve themselves.

With video demonstrations to support the lectures you'll quickly learn to handle apparently impossible situations where people just won’t co-operate: bosses, co-workers, customers, patients or members of the public who act in unpleasant, unpredictable ways.

And it isn’t limited to the workplace; if you ever find yourself struggling in your personal relationships there's help here too.

This course tells you how to identify seven common difficult characters, recognise clues to the patterns in their behaviour, and most importantly, how to understand how to prepare yourself, so that you become more effective more often in your relationships.

This 90-minute course includes 12 video lectures. You'll also be provided with concise and clearly written downloads to help you practice some recommended exercises and enhance your skills. And there's a reading list if you want to take your study further.

How to complete the course
The course contains 12 lectures; approximately 50 minutes of video, presented in bite-sized lectures. Reading time for the associated material is approximately 40 minutes. We recommend watching these several times to help you effortlessly absorb the information. We also recommend reflection breaks between each lecture; avoid 'cramming' and find a pace that suits you.

This course will help you if:

  • You have to deal with challenging behaviour in the course of your work, home life or socially
  • You work with one or more colleague whose behaviour you find unacceptable, obstructive or overly demanding
  • You find it difficult to get your point across in certain situations

  • You are regularly in contact with someone who insults for, puts you down, or manipulates you

  • You have a partner or ex-partner who persistently uses unfair behaviour to get their own way
  • You want to more confident in dealing with situations where someone else constantly tries to get the upper hand.

Barry Winbolt MSc is a relationship consultant, mediator and writer. He has over 25 years experience providing training and advice in working relationships, communication skills and personal development.

His highly engaging workshops are designed to be relevant to attendees and to deliver practical skills and techniques that can be applied immediately.

The course looks at the most common kinds of difficult behaviour, and provides you with an essential toolkit for identifying and managing them effectively.

Introduction to Difficult People
In this section you'll learn what makes people difficult, who they are, and the seven most common clusters of behaviour.
Introduction - Who are these difficult people?
Most of us have dozens of successful interactions each day, but there are those that just keep coming back to bite us. Colleagues, partners and family members, people we have to deal with at work, even socially...  In any situation where somebody’s behaviour prevents you from getting the outcomes you want. This lesson introduces the types of situation where difficult behaviour occurs, and the strategies that you’ll need to work round them.
What makes people difficult?
There are five key factors that you need to take into account when tackling difficult behaviour. Understand these and you'll be in a stronger position to manage or work round the difficult person. This lesson explains what they are, and why it is vital to tackle the unwanted behaviour, than to attack the difficult person's character.
Types of difficult behaviour
There are an infinite number of ways that people can be difficult. Some are strident and noisy, others more passive, withdrawn, moody or brooding. In this lesson we outline seven types of 'character' – clusters of behaviour that can be difficult to deal with. With the help of role-plays you'll learn to identify these 'characters', and spot the patterns of behaviour that need to be interrupted. It also explains why it is vital to avoid the temptation of labelling people; the descriptions used here are for learning purposes only.
Preparing yourself
When dealing with difficult behaviour it's vital to understand and manage yourself before tackling the other person. Here's how.
Four things to know about ourselves
There are four essential skills that you'll need to brush up on if you want to communicate effectively and get your point across in the face of difficult behaviour. The good news is that these are skills you already have, you probably just haven't thought about them this way before. Once you know what they are, you can practice them; they'll allow you to be more confident and have more control in those difficult interactions.
The three 'C's
There are three questions to ask yourself before setting out to tackle difficult behaviour. Is the nasty behaviour a one-off, or is it more persistent and repetitive? Is it causing harm or damage, or it is just a little inconvenient? In short, how much energy and effort will you need to tackle the behaviour, and are you ready for it? This lesson uses an approached called 'The Three Cs' to help you think through some of the pitfalls, and prepare yourself before you try a new strategy with the difficult person.
Five guiding principles
In this lesson you will learn the five steps to getting the upper hand with challenging behaviour. It explains how to avoid triggering an unpleasant reaction in the other person, and the five 'golden rules' that will put you in control. Understanding what you want and expect, and communicating it to the other person clearly is a great start, but you'll also need to protect their dignity, to avoid getting side tracked.
The lesson also explains that, above all, you should abandon any notions of 'winning'.
Controlling your emotions
One of the hardest parts of dealing with difficult behaviour is managing your emotions. When you are on the receiving end of behaviour you don’t like, it doesn’t take long for negative feelings to cloud your judgement and influence how you communicate.
This lesson looks at the skill-set you’ll need to separate thoughts and feelings, so you’ll be able to handle your emotions more effectively.
Techniques and Tactics
Put what you have learned into practice with these techniques and tactics.
Think 'how' not 'what'
We've all been there, locked into a conversation that goes on and on without ever resolving anything! This lesson explains how you need to approach the problem between you and the difficult person, without getting drawn into irrelevant and unproductive detours. You will also learn that a simple change of focus can dramatically reduce the risk that a conversation becomes a conflict.
In simple language, you'll learn a powerful tactic for breaking the deadlock and developing forward momentum in tricky conversations.
The ASSUME strategy
How often to we embark on a conversation without thinking it through first. The chances are, if you do think it through you simply rehearse your fears by imagining everything that could go wrong. Or you come up with a plan which, despite your best intentions, you are unable to stick to once the talking starts.
To help you prepare, this lesson spells out six vital elements of the ASSUME Strategy. Taken together, these simple tactics will allow you ASSUME control, by taking a position where you are able to run the conversation.
  • No special materials or prior knowledge, everything is provided.
Barry Winbolt
Barry Winbolt
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Udemy courses are suited to professional development. The platform is organized in such a way that it is experts themselves that decide the topic and when the course will start. All supporting documents are made available to you for lifetime access. On this platform, you can find a course on about any subject, and that is no exaggeration – from a tutorial on how to ride a motorcycle, to managing the financial markets. The language and the course format are established by the teacher. This is why it is important to read the information about the course carefully before parting with any money.
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