Dealing With Difficult Behaviour

The management of difficult people is a skill that all people managers need. Research has shown that the largest proportion of managerial time is taken with the management of a very small number of people who range from the just plain awkward to the frighteningly aggressive.

This short course is designed to give delegates the skills and confidence to deal with difficult people at whatever level in an organisation they are.

By the end of the course the delegates will have an understanding of the following:-

  • Managing aggression
  • Managing talented but awkward key members of staff
  • Managing sickness
  • Managing absence
  • Managing belligerence
  • Managing lack of co-operation by staff
  • Managing demoralised staff

Who Will Benefit: All Managers and Staff who are required to manage difficult people.


Strategies for Defusing Difficult Situations


Be assertive, keep calm and do not match the other person’s aggression. Ensure your body language matches your words


Use assertive techniques to calm down an angry person. Be polite. Check what you say and the way that you say it and ensure you are not making the situations worse (for example by being patronising or rude)

Take Control

Often and angry or distressed person has lost their natural balance and rational reasoning. You may need to take control by being assertive, being firm and positive in what you say, allowing time for the anger to dissipate, suggesting what to do next etc.


Check that it is safe. Ensure it is suitable for the situation and check there are facilities. The environment should create an impression of an organisation which will help rather than hinder the situation.

Codes of Practice/Procedures

Ensure you follow relevant organisational guidelines for interviews, aggressive behaviour, home visits etc.

Knowing when you can’t help

Your safety comes first. There could be a potentially violent situation where you may decide that you can no longer deal with it; you may have tried other strategies that have not worked. Then you must consider removing yourself from the situation and calling your manager or another colleague.

With thanks for this list to Jacky Holmes - JH Training

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