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Dealing with "Difficult" People:  A Guide to Conflict Resolution
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Dealing with "Difficult" People: A Guide to Conflict Resolution


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G&A Partners presents a guide on dealing with those occasionally troublesome folks in your workplace. …

G&A Partners presents a guide on dealing with those occasionally troublesome folks in your workplace.

As pressures in the workplace increase, many office professionals are finding there are more difficult people to deal with on the job as well as in our personal lives. Whether you have to handle a customer who shouts at you for doing your job or a team member who takes credit for your ideas, this unique session will show you how to stop falling victim to difficult people.

This training will help you recognize the effects of conflict, identify causes of conflict, deal with “difficult” personalities, communicate effectively to avoid conflict, and resolve and manage conflicts.

Need some more HR guidance? Visit us online at We can help.

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  • 1. Dealing With “Difficult” People – A Guide to Conflict Resolution Presented by: Madonna Riley, PHR July 29, 2010
  • 2. Madonna Riley Sr. Corporate HR Specialist • PHR Certified • Extensive experience in management and administration of human resources functions, including recruitment, hiring and retention • 2006 Asian Pacific-Islander American Outstanding Employee Award
  • 3. Session Objectives At the end of this session you should be able to: • Recognize the effects of conflict • Identify causes of conflict • Deal with “difficult” personalities • Communicate effectively to avoid conflict • Resolve and manage conflicts
  • 4. What Is Conflict? Conflict – a disagreement; a dispute; the clash of interests, ideas or personalities
  • 5. What Is Conflict? • Within groups or between individuals • Personal or work-related • Can be productive • Can be resolved
  • 6. The Good News Conflict Can Be Constructive Customer Satisfaction Diversity Healthy Competition Innovation Creativity Conflict
  • 7. The Bad News Conflict Can Be Destructive Harassment and Violence Lower Morale Customer Dissatisfaction Widespread Dissension Reduced Productivity Damaged Relationships Conflict
  • 8. Common Causes of Conflict • Poor communication • Different work styles • Incompatible personalities • Conflicting goals • Customer interactions
  • 9. Common Causes of Conflict People have different: • Needs • Functions • Perceptions
  • 10. Why Are “Difficult” People Difficult? Start with yourself: Could YOU be the problem?
  • 11. Recognizing “Difficult” Personalities • The “Bulldozer” - Abusive, abrupt • The “Exploder” – Outbursts filled with rage • The “Complainer” – Finds fault with everything • The “Clam” – Silent, “yes” or “no”, grunt • The “Wet Blanket” – “It won’t work” • The “Know-It-All” – Expert on all matters • The “Staller” – Habitually indecisive
  • 12. Dealing With “Difficult” People The “Bulldozer” • Time to run down • Don’t worry about being polite • Forcefully; no apologies • Don’t cut down • Negotiation
  • 13. Dealing With “Difficult” People The “Exploder” • Gain self-control • Neutral phrase • Serious • Private setting
  • 14. Dealing With “Difficult” People The “Complainer” • Listen • Don’t argue or apologize • State the facts • Put in writing • “How do you want the discussion to end?”
  • 15. Dealing With “Difficult” People The “Clam” • Open-ended questions • Wait for response • Extra time • Comment on what is happening
  • 16. Dealing With “Difficult” People The “Wet Blanket” • Be alert • Optimistic but realistic • Don’t argue • Don’t offer solutions • Raise questions
  • 17. Dealing With “Difficult” People The “Know-It-All” • Be prepared • Listen and paraphrase • Don’t over-generalize • Watch your responses
  • 18. Dealing With “Difficult” People The “Staller” • Be open • Acknowledge past problem • Give support • Assign responsibility
  • 19. Effective Communication Sending Clear Messages • Think first • Make “I” statements • Avoid “you” statements • Practice difficult messages
  • 20. Effective Communication Sending Clear Messages • Be honest • Inform • Be positive • Avoid negative patterns
  • 21. Effective Communication Hearing What Others Say • Don’t interrupt • Pay attention • Be open • Look for clues
  • 22. Effective Communication Hearing What Others Say • Show you’re listening • Use your imagination • Ask questions • Restate
  • 23. Resolving Conflict Five Basic Methods: • Withdrawal • Smoothing • Forcing • Compromise • Collaboration
  • 24. Attitude Check • Cool down • Be assertive • Focus on the issues • Keep an open mind • Look for common interests • Resolve the conflict • Let go of the past
  • 25. Resolving Conflict Process: • Cease fire • Respect • Identify • Discuss • Agree
  • 26. Resolving Conflict Conflicts With Customers • Identify problems • Focus on solutions • Clarify • Get help • Check for satisfaction • Follow up
  • 27. Managing Recurring Conflicts Find underlying causes and break the cycle. • Take the lead • Speak to each individual • Bring everyone together
  • 28. Mediating Conflicts • There to help • Affecting work • Ask how conflict can be ended • Win-win solution • Commitment
  • 29. Questions?
  • 30. Thank You! G&A Partners is a Houston-based HR and administrative services company that manages human resources, benefits, payroll, accounting and risk management for growing businesses. G&A maintains offices in Houston, Dallas, San Antonio, Austin, College Station, Corpus Christi, Arizona and Utah. For more information about the company, visit or call 713.784.1181.