Difficult People

by Suzanne Neville

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Other topics

Listening Skills

People will tend to be difficult if they do not feel listened to, yet listening skills are rarely taught in school and many people do not know how to listen effectively


Questioning skills are also an important component of good communication.


Good rapport skills will help you to handle difficult people more effectively.

Body Language

A great deal of our communication comes through our body language. Understanding these subtle signals will help you to avoid annoying other people and understand what they are really feeling.


This is a crucial skill, both for handling difficult people and for avoiding being one yourself.

Transactional Analysis

This topic contains useful tools for gaining insights into what may be happening in a relationship.

Managing Upwards

If your relationship with your boss is not good, this topic will provide you with the means to make the relationship better or, at the least, help you to cope and get through the days as successfully as possible.


The human element

Will Schutz, published by Jossey Bass Wiley, 1994, 304 pages

Schutz’s work is about building self awareness and understanding of the defensive behaviours that get in the way of personal and organisational effectiveness.

Dealing with people you can’t stand

Rick Brinkman and Rick Kirshner, published by McGraw-Hill Education, 2002, 224 pages

Identifes how people think, what they fear and why they act in the way they do. Offers simple and memorable strategies for dealing with different types of difficult behaviour. Suggests that if we know how to do this we can bring out the best in people rather than the worst.

Emotional Intelligence works

S Michael Kravitz and Susan D Schubert, published by Crisp Publicatuions Inc, 2000, 120 pages

A quick guide to improving relationships, dealing with negative emotions, communicating effectively and increasing flexibility.

Assertiveness at work

Ken and Kate Back, published by McGraw-Hill Publishing Co, 2007, 207 pages

A comprehensive guide to using assertiveness techniques at work.

NLP at work

Sue Knight, published by Nicholas Brealey Publishing, 1995, 400 pages

Provides a toolkit of NLP techniques, written in an accessible way that can help us understand our own behaviour and that of others.

Drop the pink elephant

Bill McFarlan, published by Capstone Publishing Ltd, 2004, 166 pages

Key communication skills for getting your message across in a clear and understandable way.


You can also contact the author directly: Suzanne Neville