Instructor for this course

We’ve all been there, trying to reason with an incredibly difficult person. The situation proves frustrating, maddening, and sometimes even frightening. The truth is you can’t reason with an unreasonable person. However, there are proven techniques to better manage such dicey situations.

The difficult business issues that arose in 2020 and will certainly continue into 2021 make this an even more difficult issue to handle. Often, professionals resort to changing positions or moving to another area. However, difficult people are everywhere. It might be possible to avoid the 1st one or two difficult people, but how about the 3rd, 5th, 10th person you encounter? Hiding isn't a permanent solution. So rather than turning to some drastic decisions each time, why not equip yourself with the skills to deal with them?

There are tactics that professionals can use with your boss, a customer, a family member, even a stranger. Keep in mind: The closer your relationship with the person, the more knowledge you’ll have of what will best work to calm things down.

When you're dealing with a person behaving unreasonably, the fear response center in your brain is going to be activated. It's up to you to engage your conscious mind in order to defuse the situation. Some of these tips are general, suggesting a mindset to cultivate.

During this course we will examine some of the most successful techniques experts have identified to utilize when working with difficult people. Some of these tactics may be difficult at first but when you know the situation, understand the people involved, the tactics can effectively help de-escalate the issue and provide a sense of calm to the discussion.

Who Should Attend
All organizations, employees, management, staff, vendors, and board members.

Topics Covered

  • Most successful techniques experts have identified to utilize when working with difficult people
  • Recognize the situation
  • Understand the people involve
  • Tactics can effectively help de-escalate the issue


Learning Objectives

  • Identify the "signs" that you may be dealing with a difficult person.
  • Recognize and evaluate your own role in the relationship and what may be causing difficulty on your side.
  • Discover and describe tips for communicating with difficult people.
  • Identify how to de-escalate a toxic issue.
  • Identify the most effective tactics to utilize when dealing with difficult people.
Last updated/reviewed: June 7, 2021


Course Complexity: Foundational

No advanced preparation or prerequisites are required for this course.

Education Provider Information

Illumeo, Inc., 75 East Santa Clara St., Suite 1215, San Jose, CA 95113
For more information regarding this course, including complaint and cancellation policies, please contact our offices at (408) 400- 3993 or send an e-mail to .
Course Syllabus
  7:42Introduction to Dealing with Difficult People
  15:56Sign of a Difficult Person
  16:46Sign of a Difficult Person Cont'd
  13:20Sign of a Difficult Person Cont'd
  16:21Evaluating Roles in the Situation
  19:24Tips for Communicating with Difficult People
  5:06Identify How to De-Escalate a Toxic Issue
  8:09Effective Tactics to Utilize When Dealing with Difficult People
  1:44:35Dealing with Difficult People
  PDFSlides: Dealing with Difficult People
  PDFDealing with Difficult People Glossary/ Index