Share with a colleague

Share on Facebook Share on Google Plus Share on LinedIn Share on Twitter Share by email

Dealing with Difficult Behaviours

Dealing with Difficult Behaviours

During your working day, do you or those you work with deal with angry and aggressive behaviour, witness conflicts and disagreements, or communicate with negative, defensive and unresponsive people?

This training equips participants with the skills to learn to resolve these situations effectively and positively.

Course Context

This training course provides delegates with insights into the underlying root causes and triggers of someone’s difficult behaviour as well as awareness of their own behaviour drivers and triggers and how they impact on the situation.

Dealing with difficult behaviours in customers, or members of the public
Dealing with difficult behaviours in customers can be challenging. If the situation is handled well, this can improve customer service and relationships which will, in turn create further business opportunities. If those in the front line have strong personal boundaries their own health and well-being will also be protected.

Dealing with difficult behaviours in people you work with regularly
This could be a team member, a colleague, or someone in a more senior role. Difficult behaviour can be detrimental to an employee’s motivation and productivity in the workplace as well as inhibiting the performance of others. When difficult behaviours are not managed effectively a lack of co-operation, tension, stress and poor performance can result.

  • Course Duration: 1-day course
  • Course Capacity: 12 delegates max (for optimum benefit)
  • Availability: All of our in-house courses are delivered by our UK wide network of trainers
  • Customisation: The content can be tailored to meet an organisation’s individual requirements

Who Is It For?

Team leaders, managers, heads of department, supervisors, anyone wishing to refresh skills in workplace communication.

This training course can be delivered in two different formats:

  • Dealing with difficult behaviours in customers, service users or members of the public
  • Dealing with difficult behaviours in people you work with regularly

While the general principles involved are the same we recommend that separate training courses are used for each of the above groups.

Key Benefits

  • Develop more insight into different types of challenging behaviour
  • Understand what makes some people and situations more difficult to deal with
  • Gain greater understanding of our own part in the dynamic and how we can use that more effectively
  • Learn to look at situations with more objectivity and detachment and to deal with them calmly
  • Increase adaptability, flexibility and confidence and acquire a stronger sense of being in control
  • Distinguish between what you can control and what you can’t
  • Change previously unsuccessful responses to more effective ones
  • Identify your sources of support and realise you are not alone
  • Learn how to set mental boundaries and manage your energy more effectively

Course Content

Defining the issue

  • Moving from looking at the person to the behaviour
  • Understanding different types of difficult behaviour
  • Highlighting which types of behaviour we personally find difficult to deal with
  • Recognising the business impact of ‘people problems’ – reasons for tackling the issue

Understanding the dynamics

  • Looking at our own behaviour and its impact on the situation
  • Exploring triggers, responses and payoffs
  • Exploring a variety of techniques for dealing with different types of behaviour
  • Understanding how communication can break down and how we can ensure the meaning behind our message is received as intended

The organisational context

  • Looking at organisational culture
  • Defining your support systems, procedures and networks
  • Real-life case studies

Managing your own reactions

  • Dealing with stressful situations – keeping your sanity
  • Managing ongoing and unexpected situations with difficult people
  • Building confidence
  • Learning how to leave the stress at work

Confident communication

  • Using body language confidently
  • Developing assertive language
  • Negotiation, persuasion and ‘win-win’
  • The value of coaching skills – active listening and effective questioning to get to the root of the issue
  • Recognising the signals that aggressive behaviour may be about to increase and being armed with strategies to quickly diffuse the situation
  • Tools to maintain rapport during disagreements and conflicts: how to express your opinions in a way that won’t escalate the situation
  • Adapting the strategies to different communication mediums (face-to-face, telephone) and to fit with your personal style
  • When to draw the line: handling abusive and unacceptable behaviour

Taking action

  • Devise a personal action plan to take back to the workplace

A Recent Delegate Comment regarding the Dealing with Difficult Behaviours Course:


“I feel that I could speak to difficult individuals with confidence now.”

Related Training Courses

Bullying in the Workplace: Training for Managers

This course gives those with managerial responsibility an understanding of bullying in the workplace and provides an opportunity to discuss good practice in a relaxed, flexible manner with plenty of opportunities for questions and answers.

Read more

Bullying in the Workplace: Be Aware

This course raises awareness of what bullying and harassment is and when it is taking place.  It also covers the responsibilities of all those involved together with actions which should be taken if you believe you are being bullied or harassed.

Read more

Tackling Sexual Harassment at Work

Sexual harassment can have a range of serious physical and psychological impacts for those who experience it. This course both equips those who are harassed with the confidence to speak out and disarms those who perpetrate the harassment by making them aware of inappropriate behaviours.

Read more

Find out more


Please get in touch with us if you have any questions. 

We are always happy to talk about our courses and help you to work out the best match for your requirements.


"The quality of the training has been fantastic and our employees are really engaging with the trainer and getting something out of it. Also In Equilibrium makes the whole process very easy to arrange."

— Employee Engagement & Wellbeing Officer, Sophie Holland

"We wanted to provide a course that taught useful and practical coping strategies that our members could put into place straight away. In Equilibrium’s experience showed us that they could provide this, and they tailored the course perfectly."

— The Association of Electoral Administrators

"In-Equilibrium recently presented Mental Health Awareness to Managers in all of our area offices. The training was really well received and all of the trainers were praised for their in-depth knowledge and understanding."


— Roger Bullivant Limited

"The training was very well received by staff who now all intend to implement the session’s practical tips and techniques into their existing roles. A large proportion of the staff rated the facilitator and their delivery as excellent and their only recommendation was for a further and longer session!"

— Leeds City College

Recent articles on our blog....

Brown ceramic mug on a wooden table with the backdrop of a trailing branch with colourful Autumn leaves

Practical tips and advice on protecting team wellbeing in our Autumn 2019 newsletter

This edition of In Equilibrium also includes: • Some practical tips for having good quality conversations about mental health at work • Recent blog articles including a book review of “The Invention of Difference: The Story of Gender Bias at Work” • The benefits of building 'giving' into your self-care routine • Trainer Dot Gourlay provides practical tips and advice on protecting a team's wellbeing in the busy run up to Christmas • Some relevant resources include a workplace wellbeing white paper • An explanation of why news coverage is predominantly negative but journalists should take note of a more upbeat message
Read More
A blank wooden arrow sign on a bare wood post with a hilly backdrop

Newsletter resources include a workplace wellbeing white paper

Our Autumn newsletter also includes links to the new Every Mind Matters platform, an independent inquiry into bullying & harassment and a trauma pathway.
Read More
Lots of children and adults on bikes, in Santa and Elves outfits in Trafalgar Square, London.

Ask the Expert : How can I protect my team’s wellbeing in the run up to Christmas?

Senior In Equilibrium trainer and consultant, Dot Gourlay, offers practical tips and advice in answer to our latest Ask the Expert question.
Read More

Our purpose is to provide training and consultancy services to enhance resilience, health and wellbeing in the workplace.


Differentiation is one of the most strategic and tactical activities in which companies most constantly engage


It's natural to have questions about training and how it fits with your organisation. Our FAQs can help you find out more.


View case studies for some of the in-house training courses we have delivered to different types of organisations across the UK.

Share with a colleague

Share on Facebook Share on Google Plus Share on LinkedIn Share on Twitter Share by email