Dealing with Difficult People and Unreasonable Behaviour at Work

How to manage 'difficult' people and challenging behaviour in the workplace.
Full day


We will all encounter unreasonable behaviour or a 'difficult' colleague at some point.

Often this behaviour has no real effect on us, but we can find it uncomfortable to observe. Sometimes though, it can cause us real difficulty and make our working lives unpleasant.

In this fascinating and extremely popular workshop, you'll discover how to prevent many ‘difficult' behaviours as well as a wealth of tools and techniques to deal with those which arise regardless of your attempts to prevent them.

We'll explore a range of specific behaviours, including:

  • Aggressive people – the verbal bully and the intimidating person
  • The extraterrestrial (the person from another planet)
  • The victim – the person who believes that the world and you are somehow plotting against them
  • The “mood Hoover” – the negative person who sucks the positive energy out of a room and has a default setting of “no”
  • The know-all – the person who knows more than anyone else about everything and is determined to prove it
  • The lazy person – the person who does the least possible in the greatest possible time
  • The yes but no but – the person who talks a good talk and fails to deliver

What you'll learn

  • How to prevent difficult situations
  • It takes two to tango – how our behaviour may contribute to others' behaviour
  • How to listen objectively (without making assumptions)
  • How to create more productive working relationships
  • How to deal with specific types of difficult behaviour
  • How to give feedback that works
  • How to manage difficult conversations
  • How to deal with conflict
  • Understanding and preventing difficult behaviour
  • What drives others' behaviour?

Developing skills for handling difficult people

  • Learning to recognise your own state and choose your behaviours
  • Aggressive, assertive and passive behaviours
  • Learning to be calm in the face of difficult behaviour
  • Dealing with criticism from others
  • Reframing a situation and putting things in perspective

    Feedback and difficult conversations

    • Structures for giving feedback

    Managing conflict

    • A model for conflict management
    • Ten top tips for dealing with confrontation

    Next steps

    • What will you do differently as a result of the workshop?

    Who is it for?

    This course is suitable for delegates at all levels who may be faced with challenging behaviour in the workplace. This course will focus primarily on the needs of people facing challenging behaviour from staff, co-workers and managers. The content may also be helpful for customer or public facing roles, because the techniques and behaviours learned will be applicable to those situations, but much of the time will be spent on dealing with difficult colleagues.

    Your facilitator

    David Cotton
    David Cotton

    David has worked in training and development for over 20 years, working in four continents and nearly 50 countries. His work ranges from one to one coaching to managing multinational training programmes and his clients range from small family businesses to the European Commission, United Nations and Middle Eastern petrochemical companies. He is the author of around a dozen books and many journal articles. He is also a qualified and practising hypnotherapist and NLP practitioner. He spent 21 years with the major professional services firms, Arthur Andersen and PricewaterhouseCoopers, before becoming an independent trainer, coach, facilitator and speaker in 2002.

    A former professional musician, David still occasionally performs and he collects instruments from around the world on his travels. He is the author of several books including 'Managing Difficult People At Work' and 'The Business Strategy Toolkit'.


    Great session with Hub events, the course was well delivered and very interesting. I would recommend them to anyone looking to better themselves in a particular topic. They have a variety to offer.
    Great session
    David Cotton clearly knows his stuff and is an exceptional instructor; great content delivered in an engaging and practical manner.
    Excellent and useful
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    Dealing with Difficult People and Unreasonable Behaviour at Work
    26/02/21 9:30 - 16:30
    28/04/21 9:30 - 16:30