How to Deal with Difficult People (Completed)

Date: Friday, May 20, 2022
Instructor: Lynn Fountain
Begin Time:  9:00am Pacific Time
10:00am Mountain Time
11:00am Central Time
12:00pm Eastern Time
CPE Credit:  2 hours for CPAs

The world has changed. Life as we have known it has changed. Frustrations and challenges abound when dealing with everyday life as well as communicating and working with peers and co-workers. 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 have arisen since 2020 make this an even more difficult issue to handle. Often, professionals in a working situation will resort to changing positions or moving to another area or company. However, difficult people are everywhere. It might be possible to avoid the first one or two difficult people, but how about the third, fifth or tenth person you encounter? Hiding isn't a permanent solution. So rather than turn to some drastic decisions each time, why not equip yourself with the skills to deal with them? This pertains not only to work life but personal life.

There are tactics that professionals can use with a boss, customer, family member, even a stranger. Keep in mind: The closer your relationship 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 these 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 involve, the tactics can effectively help de-escalate the issue and provide a sense of calm to the discussion.

Who Should Attend
Accountants and Finance professionals, Auditors, Executive management/ Board members and Audit Committee members, and Legal and Compliance professionals.

Topics Covered

  • Signs of a difficult person
  • Evaluating roles in the situation
  • Tips for communicating with difficult people
  • How to de-escalate a toxic issue
  • Effective tactics to utilize when dealing with difficult people

Learning Objectives

  • Describe difficult people
    • Identify the "signs" that you may be dealing with a difficult person
    • Recognize and evaluate your individual role in the relationship and whether any difficulty with the person is being caused on your side
  • Identify how to de-escalate a toxic issue
  • Identify the most effective tactics to utilize when dealing with difficult people
  • Identify the best way to address a difficult person
  • Identify the best way to deal with an unreasonable person
  • Identify tips for communicating with difficult people


Instructional Method
Group: Internet-based

NASBA Field of Study
Business Management & Organization (2 hours)

Program Prerequisites

Advance Preparation

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