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Dealing with Difficult Behaviours


During your working day, do you 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 provides delegates with insights into the underlying root causes and triggers of someone’s difficult behaviour.  The course also provides an awareness of their own behaviour drivers and triggers, and how they impact on the situation.

Dealing with difficult behaviours training can be delivered in two different formats, as detailed below.  Whilst the general principles involved are the same we recommend that separate training courses are used for each of the following groups.

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.


  • Duration: 1-day course
  • Capacity: 12 recommended for optimum results
  • 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?

Dealing with Difficult Behaviours training is suitable for team leaders, managers, heads of department, supervisors, and anyone wishing to refresh their skills in workplace communication.

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 testimonial for the Dealing with Difficult Behaviours course:


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

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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

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