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Dealing with Difficult Members. Cortney Seaton Training Coordinator Bayer HFCU. Different Personalities. Listen with Respect Do not Antagonize Use Questions to Calm and Clarify Do not Patronize Stay Calm. Do not take it Personally Realize that some people are hostile

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Dealing with Difficult Members

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Dealing with difficult members

Dealing with Difficult Members

Cortney Seaton

Training Coordinator

Bayer HFCU

Different personalities

Different Personalities


Listen with Respect

Do not Antagonize

Use Questions to Calm and Clarify

Do not Patronize

Stay Calm

Do not take it Personally

Realize that some people are hostile

Only Refer to a Supervisor if necessary




  • Be Polite

  • Be Firm

  • Do not Chit Chat

  • Explain time Constraints

  • Use Closed-Ended Questions



  • Be Patient

  • Listen

  • Avoid Jargon

  • Break it Down

  • Ask Questions to test Response

  • Watch Body Language

  • Summarize, Test, Summarize, Test

I must say no

Use supporting Documentation

Explain the Benefits

Offer alternative Solutions/Options

Don’t be Swayed

Use Common Sense

Be Discreet

Avoid “Jargon” words

“I must say NO!”



  • Relax

  • Focus on the person on the inside

  • Ask Questions

  • Do not Patronize

  • Seek Help if Necessary

Dealing with difficult members


  • Be Patient

  • Ask Parent before giving anything to the Child

  • Point out any Safety concerns

In all situations

In all situations…

  • Listen

  • Be patient

  • Ask questions

  • Be polite

  • Seek help when necessary



I didn’t do it…guess I’ll let someone else fix it.

Oh no! I made a mistake. Maybe the member won’t notice???

Grrr…I’m not helping because I didn’t do it. I don’t care if the member has to wait. I’m not doing it.

What happens when there is a mistake

Acknowledge the error

Apologize for the situation

Take responsibility

Don’t become defensive

Fix it and move on

Follow up

Make sure to say thank you

What happens when there is a mistake???

You Respond to the Member

When an error occurs

Attentive Listening

Empathic Listening



Selective Listening

When an error occurs…


Seek first to understand

Seek First to Understand;

Then to be Understood

A transformational opportunity

Understand the real issue

Ask questions to find facts

Learn to decipher the real issue

Restate and reassure them we will take care of it


Determine options to the solution

Take care of it-even if it is not your job

Do your best to get an answer

Follow through

A Transformational Opportunity

Dealing with difficult members

Difficult behavior can often be overcome simply by being nice, providing good service, and responding quickly.

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