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Dealing With Difficult People Robert Talbot, DCSW, BCD PowerPoint PPT Presentation


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Dealing With Difficult People Robert Talbot, DCSW, BCD. Seminar Goals. Learn how to differentiate between difficult behaviors and difficult situations Understand the reasons behind difficult behaviors

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Dealing With Difficult People Robert Talbot, DCSW, BCD

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Seminar goals

Dealing With

Difficult People

Robert Talbot, DCSW, BCD


Seminar goals

Seminar Goals

  • Learn how to differentiate between difficult behaviors and difficult situations

  • Understand the reasons behind difficult behaviors

  • Recognize how our thoughts contribute to negative impressions of others, and how to modify those thoughts

  • Learn techniques for dealing with difficult people

  • Know the benefits of your EAP


What is a difficult person

What is a “Difficult Person”?

Someone who consistently makes it hard to accomplish a task, or is hard to interact with. For example, someone whose behavior is:

  • Hostile or aggressive

  • Negative or pessimistic

  • Withdrawn or passive

  • Overly agreeable but doesn’t deliver

  • Opinionated and defensive


How to decide if someone really is difficult

How to Decide if Someone Really is “Difficult”

  • How would those around us rate our behavior?

  • Have I seen this behavior in three or more situations?

  • Is this person under a great deal of stress?

  • Am I under stress?


The anatomy of a difficult person

The Anatomy of a Difficult Person

  • The behavior is learned

  • It is based on emotional factors

  • They don’t know any other way

  • They may have low self esteem

  • There may be medical or biological factors

    fromRobert Bacal, Dealing with Difficult Employees


What do they get out of it

What Do They Get Out Of It?

  • Power/control

  • Attention (positive or negative)

  • Reaction

  • Ego boost


They really push my buttons

They Really Push My Buttons…

The first step in dealing with people who act difficult is to develop control of the person that can be controlled by you, and that is you.

From Brad McRae, Negotiating and Influencing Skills


Techniques coping skills

Techniques/Coping Skills

  • Think about what their behavior really costs you

  • Do the opposite of what your natural inclination is

  • Don’t take it personally

  • Accept that you are helpless to change them

  • Don’t act like them!


Effective communication and listening techniques

Effective Communication and Listening Techniques

  • Give up the need to be right

  • First seek to understand, then to be understood

  • Avoid acting defensively

  • Listen for some truth in what they say

  • Paraphrase the issue from their point of view and ask for clarification

  • Use “I” statements to express your views


Effective communication techniques cont d

Effective Communication Techniques (cont’d)

  • Ask for additional information if needed

  • Explore options

  • Look for workable, realistic options; recognize compromise may be necessary

  • Under-promise and over-deliver, but honor your agreements

  • Take a “time-out” if necessary


Benefits of the eap

Benefits of the EAP

  • Confidential

  • Prepaid

  • Available 24 Hours a Day, 7 Days a Week

  • Appointment Offered Within 48 Hours

  • Telephonic consultation available

  • Household Benefit

  • Child care, elder care, and legal concerns


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