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Contact us - option to use your apprenticeship levy for a year's programme

Everybody will at some point in their career deal with a 'difficult person'. This may be a customer, somebody you manage, somebody who manages you, a work colleague, a supplier, etc.

This dealing with difficult people training course will cover the different techniques available for each challenging scenario to ensure that potentially damaging relationships become productive ones.


Difficult people always want their own way and are prepared to shout and lay down the law until they get it. They have the ability to waste a lot of your time and make you angry or frustrated. The stress of handling difficult people can create a lack of productivity and reluctance to come to work.

Through hands-on activities and practice exercises, delegates learn how to deal with all sorts of difficult people for example:

  • The 'Complainer' - Takes pride in criticism and are sarcastic and devious.
  • The 'Downer' - Feels they're life's victim. They are pessimists and negative.
  • The 'Back Stabber' - Stabs you with putdowns & pretend they have done nothing.
  • The 'Soothing Delayer' - Dislikes committing themselves. They tend to be agreeable – yet they still don't move ahead.
  • 'Egotistical Advisor' - Appears as if they know a lot about the subject, but will find someone else to blame for their mistakes.
  • 'The Clam' - Are difficult to get talking. They often use "I don't know" and similar phrases.


Eventually you will need to stand your ground, but how? Let's look at one example, the 'Autocratic Aggressor', whose characteristics are:

  • Intimidate – They stay in control by putting others down.
  • Controlling – They rule from a 'command post'.
  • Temper – They are quick to anger and are often unpredictable.
  • Rigid – They don't like ambiguity or changes they did not initiate.
  • Judgmental – They are unwilling to listen to opinion that conflict with their own.

How to handle an Autocratic Aggressor:

  • Remember – they have nothing against you personally – their attitude is purely selfish.
  • Listen to everything the person has to say.
  • Hold your ground. This doesn't mean attack – but stand up for yourself and your ideas. Don't give in to their anger.
  • Wait until the worst is over – when the aggressor is loud and out of control is not the time to try to win your point.
  • Watch their ego – remember the aggressor's self image is on the line, they won't be open to you until you acknowledge their ego.
  • Avoid argument – don't throw disagreement in their face.
  • Be formal, calling the person by name.
  • Get their attention. If they still brush your statements aside, ask them to stop and listen to you. Put your hand up to draw their attention. Say something like "Just wait a minute, there's something I think you should hear."
  • Be concise and clear with your reactions.

We will help you deal with these and other types of difficult people.


By the end of your Dealing with Difficult People course, delegates will be able to:

  • Understand what makes different people difficult.
  • Recognise the early warning signals and prevent the behaviour escalating.
  • Avoid being manipulated by difficult people.
  • Feel confident to deal with a number of different types of difficult people.
  • Apply conflict resolution techniques.
  • Use words that de-escalate and give criticism effectively.
  • Apply assertive behaviour and see instant results.


Dealing with difficult people are Knowledge and Skills within the Operations / Departmental Manager Level 5 apprenticeship standard, Team Leader / Supervisor Level 3 apprenticeship standard and HR Consultant / Partner Level 5 apprenticeship standard, hence when delivered as part of these apprenticeships, you can utilise your apprenticeship levy to cover your Learning and Development (L&D) investment. See our apprenticeship overview for more information on this cost effective way to invest in your organisation's dealing with difficult people skills.


More Information

pdfBusiness Games Brochure

pdfCourse Brochure

pdfTeam Building Brochure

Graeme Jones
Head of Training Services
Elite Training European Ltd
3 Parkers Place
Martlesham Heath

Telephone: +44 (0) 20 3290 1473

Email: training@elitetraining.co.uk

About us

  • For 25 years we've been delivering excellent bespoke business, management and personal development skills training courses to organisations, including businesses, public sector and not for profit across the UK and EMEA.
  • Our trainers enhance the learning experience with our high energy, results driven, interactive approach, both in the classroom or through live remote training.
  • Experiential learning with business games and training materials help participants acquire essential knowledge and skills through active, self-reflective engagement and enable them to remember the key learning points.


  • Training Courses: Skilled and experienced trainers that develop and understand your needs and deliver enjoyable, tailored and cost-effective in-house training.
  • Business Games: Fun and realistic, sold worldwide to use over and over again for quality development.
  • Team Building: Injecting training expertise, real-life examples and fun to draw out key learnings.
  • Coaching: Results driven executive and business coaching, creating environments where people develop and thrive, improving performance.
  • Development Programmes: Tailored and bespoke programmes, developing and inspiring leaders, supporting strategic objectives and business change.
  • Apprenticeship Standards: Utilise your apprenticeship levy for Level 5 Operations / Departmental Manager and Level 3 Team Leader / Supervisor, designed to your unique requirements.
  • Your choice of in-person or remote learning and development.

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If you are interested in finding out more about our bespoke dealing with difficult people course for organisations, please fill out the form.

We design and deliver interactive tailored training courses, from one-to-ones, to larger groups, usually in-house, tailored to business' unique requirements. We don’t run open public, online or distance learning courses.

To tailor dealing with difficult people training, please call us on:

+44 (0) 20 3290 1473

Elite Training will not pass your contact details on to any third parties, and will only contact you in relation to your enquiries.