Learning Point: Understanding How to Deal With Difficult People

We have all experienced the dread of attending a meeting where we know 'that person' will be there - the one that always manages to press the wrong buttons.

When dealing with difficult people, stay out of it emotionally and concentrate on listening non-defensively and actively. People may make disparaging and emotional remarks - don't rise to the bait!

When dealing with difficult people, it is important to keep the emotions in check and concentrate on listening non-defensively and actively to what is being said. People may make disparaging and emotional remarks - but don't rise to the bait!

Here are just eight reminders to help you overcome these difficult situations.

Don't Get Hooked !!!

  • When people behave towards you in a manner that makes you feel angry, frustrated or annoyed - this is known as a Hook.
  • We can even become "Hooked" by the way people look, how they talk, how they smell and even by their general demeanour.
  • If we take the bait then we are allowing the other person to control our behaviour. This can then result in an unproductive response.
  • We have a choice whether we decided to get hooked or stay unhooked.

Don't Let Them Get To YouContinue reading

High Performing Teams Survey

All research tells us that people who work well together and form high-performing teams not only produce more for their organisation but are happier at work.

This survey and associated action plan can be used to help your team judge how effective they are and what they could do to become a well-regarded high performing team.

It asks delegates to rate the team on the following:



Relationships & Communication


Optimal Productivity

Recognition & Appreciation


Facilitator notes and handouts are included in this activity.


What Kind of Thinker Are You?

Have you ever considered what kind of thinker you are?

It may seem a strange question, but being aware of your thinking style will increase your levels of self-awareness, as well as helping you to work effectively with others.

This questionnaire should help give you a good idea of your preferred thinking style.

It can be used as a stand-alone questionnaire or used as part of a wider team development activity.


Values and Beliefs

In this short pamphlet, Mike Munro Turner explores the importance of values in our lives.

Values describe and provide a means of talking about, what is important to us.

They are ideals we hold that give significance and meaning to our lives and hence they underpin our beliefs, influencing the decisions we make, the actions we take, and the life we lead.

Understanding values helps us to understand how we create our own reality and gives us insight into the personal realities of others.


Conflict Management – A CIPD Report

The CIPD report ‘Conflict Management – A Shift in Direction?’ is based on research which set out to examine changes in employers’ use of different methods of managing individual conflict, and how far recent changes in legislation on dispute resolution have impacted employer practices.

The report is based largely on the telephone and face-to-face interviews with HR managers, supplemented by a small number of interviews with employment lawyers, ACAS officers and trade union officials.

Key findings from the research highlight that:

    • The introduction of employment tribunal (ET) fees has changed the balance of power between employers and claimants.
    • Employers spend an average of 19 days of management time dealing with individual ET cases.
    • The longer-term future and impact of fees will depend on decisions still to be taken by the courts and/ or the Government.
    • Beyond the introduction of ET fees, recent legislation has so far had only a limited impact on employers’ approaches to managing conflict.
    • Employers and trade unions generally take a pragmatic approach to deciding whether or not to seek settlement of a claim or allow it to go forward to a hearing.
    • There is an increased level of interest by employers in using settlement agreements as a means of terminating employment.

Continue reading

Business Report Writing Questionnaire & Best Practice Ideas

Business reports are a method of documenting and conveying information and communicating with people. They can provide information without the need for meetings, or can form the basis for discussion at a meeting.

Reports help with planning, communicating and decision-making and are designed to provide research-based information in a concise and accurate format.

They both inform and persuade: a well-structured report with clear points and aims will be more likely to achieve its intended results. Well-planned, informative reports can also enhance professional reputation.

Whenever you write a report you must bear in mind why you are writing and who you are writing for. All reports have a reader.

Using this resource will help you reflect on your current approach to communicating through the written report and provides a guide to good business writing.


How CEOs Should Handle Criticism

Corporate leaders have always been targets of criticism, both from inside and outside the firms they lead.

But these days leaders are getting it from an increasing number of sources, thanks to a bevvy of internet platforms designed to bring more transparency to work, as well as a social media ecosystem capable of spreading word rapidly. 

“The opportunities for negative comments about CEOs to emerge are through the roof,” said Brian Kropp, of CEB, a research firm based in Stamford, Connecticut.

Just ask Oscar Munoz. The boss of United Airlines is the latest example of the perils of CEO critique. Not only did Munoz feel the heat when a video in April emerged on social media showing a United passenger being dragged off a flight by authorities after refusing to give up his seat to make room for United crew members needing to get to a job in another city, but his leaked internal response to his employees regarding the incident quickly drew ire from company review websites, social media and cable news.

While United’s incident is extreme, it shows just how important it is for leaders to be prepared to face such circumstances. Whether it’s a full-blown national scandal or an internal spat about direct reports, CEOs would be wise to develop the skills necessary to take criticism constructively.     

First and foremost, CEOs need to take any criticism thrown their way head on, Kropp said. In most cases, leaders who try to ignore or deflect negative feedback are likely digging themselves a deeper hole, one that could potentially come with serious consequences for the companies they lead.  

Continue reading