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 2023 and beyond, 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: August 9, 2023
143 Reviews (720 ratings)

Reviews

5
Member's Profile
We are all difficult people at one point or another in our lives, and we have all dealt with difficult people in our personal lives and at work. Thus, we can all benefit from Ms. Fountain’s lecture on dealing with difficult people. It contained good suggestions for remaining above the fray and working to keep ourselves open to improving working relationships when others make getting along difficult. A great class!

5
Anonymous Author
A great refresher course for dealing with challenging people, which can be applied in the workplace or personal settings. The facilitator shared many great suggestions for defusing and de-escalating situations where emotions often run high, as well as useful tactics and tips for leading a crucial conversation. I would recommend this course for anyone in a management or leadership position!

4
Anonymous Author
The PPT was very useful and contributed to achieving the goal. However, I believe that the duration of the course should be extended to a minimum of three hours instead of one, in order to better review and memorize the material received. This would help you approach and pass the final exam. Thank you.

4
Anonymous Author
This course really made me stop and think about my own reactions to situations at work. The instructor provides a complete checklist on how to communicate with people in your work environment. The instructor gives tips on actions to avoid and de-escalating tense situations. I found it informative.

5
Anonymous Author
Concrete, actionable advice that not only helps us manage our relationships with personalities that come across as difficult, but leads us to confront how we ourselves have demonstrated problematic attitudes and behaviors. Delivered in a manner that reflects the calmness and self-control recommended.

5
Anonymous Author
This course caused me to think about looking at myself first during a difficult or confrontational situation with co-workers. Furthermore, I have to look past the person's emotions to see what is really going on and get to the root of the problem before I make any moves to diffuse the issue.

4
Anonymous Author
This was a helpful module for life - at work and away from work. We all encounter difficult people in many different settings. And we are all difficult people at some point in our lives. This is mostly common sense guidance but it's nice to have it presented for confirmation.

5
Anonymous Author
Great course in identifying the different types of difficult people. I would have liked more insight on how to deal with difficult people who have more than one type of difficult personality. Regardless, the tips on communicating with difficult people will be helpful.

5
Member's Profile
I liked how it used examples to help me relate it back to experiences I might be having on my team. This was good for me to understand the real-life applicability of different ways to respond in certain situations. I also found the instructor to be well informed!

2
Anonymous Author
It really seems like this could have been a 20-minute course. A lot of the same information is restated throughout, and I feel like a lot of it was already common sense. I suppose it is a good refresher course, though, if someone wanted to remind themselves.

5
Anonymous Author
Although I consider myself somewhat able to deal with difficult people, I realize a lot of that has been guessing and learning over time. This course does a good job of using some psychological foundations to take some of the guesswork out of the matter.

5
Anonymous Author
The recommendations on how to deal with difficult people are something you can use in all aspects of your life. I recognize sometimes my behavior may contribute to someone else's bad behavior and reminded me to be more self aware. Enjoyed this course

4
Anonymous Author
This instructor was entertaining and engaging and brought a great deal of common sense and practicality to this topic. The course could have been condensed to around 1 hour, with more use of stories instead of bullet points to illustrate the concepts.

5
Anonymous Author
Lynn Fountain's lessons are consistently thorough and give thought-provoking examples. I particularly appreciated that what to do and what not to do actions were presented with the different types of difficult personalities throughout this course.

5
Anonymous Author
Very helpful course. I Especially liked the way the course covers all types of difficult personalities and the helpful tips for dealing with them. I espevially liked the analysis and advice on the Princess and the passive aggressive types.

5
Member's Profile
This was a very good basic management course for those dealing with difficult people. The course gave examples on how to identify difficult people (and the varying kinds) as well as how to approach them in the most professional way.

4
Anonymous Author
I liked how she gave examples she had in her real work life. It was very interesting. Sometimes she talked a little slow. I wish it went a little faster. Some of the slides had typos as well, but overall I would recommend it.

4
Anonymous Author
This had a lot of great content, and I like the real-life situations given as well as examples of what to say. I would love to actually watch a fictional difficult conversation broken down to help make the concepts more tangible.

5
Anonymous Author
This course was full of helpful content and went into some great ideas in detail. Dealing with difficult people is always a challenge. The information was based on sound research and depth of understanding and experience. Thanks.

4
Anonymous Author
There are concepts that are always worthy of review and this course covers a lot of them. Dealing with difficult people can be a daily occurrence with large teams, cross -functional teams, and when working through change.

5
Member's Profile
This course was very helpful in giving advise on how to deal with difficult people. I enjoyed the real-life examples, it was helpful to hear about how situations played out in a real-life work environment.

4
Anonymous Author
The instructor did a good job walking through the usual information. This is a good refresher course, and I suspect it would be very effective for those who haven't had previous training in this area.

5
Anonymous Author
This was a very interesting course. I liked the personal examples of situations the instructor has gone through. This course for dealing with difficult people is useful for work and in regular life.

5
Member's Profile
Learned a lot about how to deal with difficult people. Very helpful information. Will help me be a better listener. Recommended for people who have someone at their work who is difficult to deal with.

5
Anonymous Author
A great course for anyone in a managerial position. There are many great tips and tricks that I learned in this course that I will keep in mind for the next round of performance reviews at my company.

5
Member's Profile
This was a great course and delved into many different areas on how to deal with a difficult person. The instructor was very knowledgeable and used personal experiences as examples that helped.

4
Member's Profile
I learned a lot of different strategies on how to deal with difficult people and liked how Lynn broke down different steps and ideas. As a new manager, I now I have different tips and ideas.

5
Anonymous Author
Very good reminder of what we can do to dealing with difficult people. Heaven knows that there is no way of avoiding this. There is always one or two. This was really good course to take.

5
Anonymous Author
Instructor presented materials in a way that kept my focus. Managers as well as nonsupervisors would benefit from this course. I think these techniques can be used in every day life.

5
Member's Profile
Lynn did a fantastic job of identifying the various types of people and specific recommendations for how to deal with each type. I wish all of our employees would take this course!

5
Anonymous Author
This course is great. I can utilize communication tactics to prevent the difficult situation before it starts. It does give me some tips for communicating with difficult people.

5
Anonymous Author
This is something that we can all relate to and I thought overall this was an interesting course. I also appreciated the speaker's own experiences woven into this course as well.

5
Anonymous Author
The instructor provided a very helpful roadmap in working with difficult personalities. The suggestions and guidance are excellent. The information was presented in good detail.

5
Anonymous Author
I am sure we all have people at work that can be difficult. This was useful information on how to best address these potentially tense situations that can arise in the workplace.

5
Anonymous Author
This course was very helpful as the instructor pulls together many sources that she gives the reference for further reading, however, she consicly provides the key take-aways.

5
Member's Profile
Great class and information. I will be able to use the information in this class to become a better communicator for my team and handle difficult situations and personalities.

5
Member's Profile
I liked all of the names she put the difficult people under. This course was easy to understand and will really help me to be more empathetic towards people and co-workers.

4
Anonymous Author
The instructors examples from her own personal experience were helpful. Might consider more comprehensive "case study" type example where both sides would be explored.

4
Anonymous Author
I wish there was more discussion around dealing with difficult people when they are your superior. It was mentioned briefly, but those are more difficult to manage.

5
Anonymous Author
Always enjoyed Lynn's courses! I liked the smooth flow and the variety of what constitutes a difficult person and how to effectively address interacting with them.

4
Anonymous Author
thorough overview of a complex topics. instructor provided practical and logical methods and tactics to assist with handling situations with difficult people.

4
Member's Profile
A good reminder of techniques for dealing with difficult people. I think that some of these topics could be misunderstood by people earlier in their careers.

5
Anonymous Author
This is an interesting course. We face interpersonal relationships at work all the time, and this course covers how some of those interaction can be fraught.

5
Member's Profile
Dealing with difficult personalities is inevitable at some point in our careers. This was a great roadmap on how to respond in those workspace situations.

5
Anonymous Author
You do not realize how applicable these lessons are to professional business life until you are actually out of school and in the workforce. Great course.

5
Member's Profile
Some really great tips on dealing with others. Based on the information in this course, I will need to adjust how I interact with difficult individuals.

4
Anonymous Author
This is great course. Learned a lot of ways that I can apply on a daily basis when dealing with difficult people. The course is very well organized.

5
Anonymous Author
I thought it was very well organized and enjoyed how the techniques were broken down. I will certainly recommend the course to friend and colleagues.

5
Anonymous Author
We all have been faced with uncomfortable conversations at some point in our lives. The course has very helpful and straight forward suggestions.

4
Member's Profile
This is a good course to take if you are in a leadership role like Controller. Being a good leader is paramount to being a successful Controller.

4
Anonymous Author
Found this course informative about how to handle difficult people as a manager. Touched on several scenarios that can be immediately applied.

5
Anonymous Author
Professor Lynn - thank for yet another important course for all work places. The content of this course is real -dealing with difficult people.

3
Member's Profile
Good tips. A lot of the tips for the various types of difficult people were the same. Good definition of a passive/aggressive personality.

5
Anonymous Author
I thought this was a thorough and helpful course as a manager who deals with many different types of personalities on a daily basis.

5
Anonymous Author
Great course which provides excellent tips on communicating with certain difficult personalities and how to de-escalate situations.

5
Member's Profile
Very interesting and educational course that gives additional input to consider in conversation and different types of personalities

5
Member's Profile
This course is relevant to every day life and offers some really practical knowledge and tactics for handling specific situations.

5
Anonymous Author
Great course! Very thoughtful. I was really quite pleased with the content and have no doubt I can apply it to my daily work life.

4
Anonymous Author
I appreciated the emphasis on establishing professional communication patterns. Great communication tips to deal with conflicts.

4
Anonymous Author
Course had a lot of good real life examples of difficult employees and how to deal with the situation and employees themselves.

4
Member's Profile
The slide content is great, the instructor communicates the content a bit slowly. Can be hard to stay engaged in the training.

5
Member's Profile
Well presented in a balanced fashion. Great suggestions for handling difficult people and de-escalating difficult situations.

3
Anonymous Author
This is a CPE course on dealing with difficult people. It's fairly practical material. There are some helpful takeaways.

5
Anonymous Author
This was a good course that provided several examples and situations of with difficult people and how to deal with them.

5
Anonymous Author
thank you. the course is very informative and I could use all the techniques in real life immediately. would recommend

4
Member's Profile
Enjoyed learning about how to deal with difficult people and what role I may play and how to de-escalate the situation.

5
Anonymous Author
This was a great course on human relations. Lynn gives real-life experiences she has had to corroborate her lessons.

5
Member's Profile
Good overview of the soft skills involved in dealing with difficult people. Helpful in a variety of circumstances.

5
Member's Profile
It was a good course - a good review of dealing with difficult employees. The instructor and slides were clear.

4
Anonymous Author
Useful to move away from technical course and explore more soft skills-related areas. Good trainer as always.

4
Anonymous Author
Interesting course. Information that is not only good for work, but can also be applied to your daily life.

4
Anonymous Author
Good course, gives a lot of suggestions and food for thought. Something we all need at one time or another.

4
Member's Profile
Really good helpful tips to deal with people in workplace environment. I liked the course and the examples.

5
Member's Profile
Good session overall. I found the concepts enlightening and worth of the refresher. Key skills to master.

5
Anonymous Author
Good practical tips and strategies for identifying and handling difficult personalities in your workplace

5
Member's Profile
Good course, very comprehensive and easy to understand, will be a good course for managers and employees.

5
Member's Profile
Good course that covers a common challenge in workplaces. Presents some thoughtful ideas and solutions.

5
Anonymous Author
Good advice and steps to consider. The slides were nicely laid out to use as references in the future.

4
Member's Profile
Would like more focus on how to handle situations and not necessarily how to identify difficult people

3
Anonymous Author
pretty fluffy course but went by quickly and exam was not too difficult, real tactics were a bit weak

5
Anonymous Author
Great course that will definitely come in handy when dealing with not only colleagues, but clients!

5
Anonymous Author
loved the examples and details of this lesson. Helps put into perspective situations in real life.

4
Member's Profile
Great class. I enjoy Lynn's courses. This is always a good topic to explore as it is a tough one.

4
Member's Profile
a bit long, and would be better if more concisely organized, overall it is still a good course.

5
Member's Profile
Great information on dealing with difficult people. Good presentation, appropriate length.

5
Anonymous Author
Very helpful and useful information that I am sure to use often! Thank you, Lynn Fountain :-)

5
Anonymous Author
This was an informative course. The instructor is engaging and made the course interesting.

5
Anonymous Author
Great overall course for business and life! Every company should have a course like this.

5
Member's Profile
Lynn is always an effective teacher and we all come across these personalities in our work

4
Anonymous Author
Good overview, but I have to speed up the video since the instructor speaks very slowly

5
Anonymous Author
Useful course for understanding personalities and resolving difficulties in the office

5
Anonymous Author
Yes it was a usrgul courde but i do thknk animsyion coulx make it more understsndable.

5
Anonymous Author
Fantastic course and pretty eye opening. I feel it had some very actionable content.

4
Anonymous Author
Helpful although a bit general. A few more examples would have been more helpful.

4
Anonymous Author
I feel like this course is a good reminder on to deal with different personalities.

5
Member's Profile
There are alot of jerks out there. Figuring out how to handle them is key to life.

3
Anonymous Author
There were grammatical errors in the exam questions and materials, but good topic.

5
Anonymous Author
Very informative, a lot of great ideas and references to the additional resources.

5
Member's Profile
Good reminders on how to deal with difficult personalities. Appreciate the tips.

4
Anonymous Author
I really like this instructor, however, this course wasn’t one of my favorites.

5
Anonymous Author
This is a great course for learning how to manage difficult personalities!!!!

5
Member's Profile
great class on how to deal with difficult people. Helpful in many situations

4
Member's Profile
well thought out ideas, well spoken individual. would recommend this course.

4
Member's Profile
Very engaging presentation on the basics of conflict resolution. Thank you.

5
Anonymous Author
This is a great course to learn about dealing with difficult personalities.

4
Anonymous Author
Great overview of soft skills and how to communicate with difficult people.

5
Member's Profile
Useful course and content on dealing with difficult working relationships.

5
Anonymous Author
Great course, clear and concise, would recommend others to take this course

5
Anonymous Author
Good information and solutions offering to dealing with difficult people.

4
Member's Profile
The course had some good tips to help with dealing with difficult people.

5
Anonymous Author
I believe that this course would be valuable for any person in any field.

5
Anonymous Author
very helpful content, definitely can apply those in real-life situations

5
Member's Profile
Nice overview and some practical methods of handling difficult people.

5
Anonymous Author
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4
Anonymous Author
Very informative course. I recommend to other, not much to commemt on.

4
Member's Profile
Useful information in dealing with difficult people in the workplace.

5
Anonymous Author
This course gives real life tactics on how to de-escalate conflicts.

1
Anonymous Author
This course gives real life tactics on how to de-escalate conflicts.

4
Anonymous Author
Insightful course in dealing with those difficult staff personalities

5
Member's Profile
Help techniques to deal with difficult presonalizties on your teams.

4
Anonymous Author
loys of good reminders. good tips on dealing with difficult people.

5
Anonymous Author
We all know people that are difficult to understand and work with.

5
Anonymous Author
This course information was presented in a clear and consice way.

5
Anonymous Author
Easy to understand. Brings up good examples of real situations.

5
Anonymous Author
Great refresher and useful information. Will take again one day.

5
Anonymous Author
fantastic discussion on soft skills required from a good manager

5
Anonymous Author
It is very interesting topic and good slides and exam questions.

5
Member's Profile
Very helpful hints and Lynn is as always, is a great presenter.

5
Member's Profile
Excellent information and given in a clear and consice manner

5
Member's Profile
Great tools when dealing with difficult people! Very helpful!

5
Anonymous Author
Great soft skills course on dealing with difficult people.

5
Anonymous Author
Loved the course, lots of examples and useful strategies.

4
Anonymous Author
Presenter was thorough and course content was appropriate.

5
Member's Profile
Wow, what a timely topic, lovely techniques. Thank You.

5
Member's Profile
Good summary as usual, with actionable recommendations.

5
Anonymous Author
Good overview of techniques to manage difficult people.

5
Anonymous Author
great course. learned a lot. instructor was really good

3
Member's Profile
The materials could have been clearer and more concise

5
Member's Profile
Great course! Enjoyed doing a non-technical training.

4
Anonymous Author
I really liked the course. It was very informative.

5
Member's Profile
Helpful information - enjoyed the learning format.

5
Anonymous Author
Good advice in dealing with difficult personalities.

5
Anonymous Author
Great course, thanks a lot, I really appreciate it.

Prerequisites
Course Complexity: Foundational

No advanced preparation or prerequisites are required for this course.

Education Provider Information
Company: Illumeo, Inc., 75 East Santa Clara St., Suite 1215, San Jose, CA 95113
Contact: 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 Questions and Answers1 Question
Member's Profile
Instructor for this course
Course Syllabus
INTRODUCTION AND OVERVIEW
  Introduction to Managing Difficult Personalities7:26
  Sign of a Difficult Person12:18
  Actions to Take with a Person who Believes they are the Expert8:04
  Action to Take with Passive aggressive Personalities5:20
  Actions to Take with Individuals who See Everything in Negative Light4:41
  Actions to Take with Individuals who Overcommit and have Low Self-worth5:55
  Actions to Prepare Yourself2:06
  Evaluating Roles in the Situation4:18
  Tips for Communicating with Difficult People9:34
  Identify How to De-Escalate a Toxic Issue6:32
  Effective Tactics to Utilize When Dealing with Difficult People3:26
  Summary1:43
CONTINUOUS PLAY
  Managing Difficult Personalities1:11:23
SUPPORTING MATERIAL
  Slides: Managing Difficult PersonalitiesPDF
  Managing Difficult Personalities Glossary/ IndexPDF
REVIEW AND TEST
  REVIEW QUESTIONSquiz
 FINAL EXAMexam