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How to Deal With

Difficult Colleagues

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An hands-on workshop to help you communicate with difficult colleagues and promote collaboration

Learn how to encourage empathy from your coworkers and have a more considerate, productive working relationship.

There are many ways you might definie a difficult coworker or a difficult colleague. One way to do so is to think about a coworker who you don't see eye-to-eye with, or with whom you have a relationship that causes you problems. By using this definition, we're taking the blame away from our definition and reframing it as something more neutral, where nobody is at fault. Congratulations - you've just taken the first step towards improving that relationship and communicating in a way which values both you and the other person, paving the way towards working more collaboratively together in the future.

This self-reflection is the first step, but it needs to be followed by more practical actions to communicate in a way which truly fosters a more harmonious working relationship with this colleague who you previously viewed as 'difficult'.

In this course which is at the same time reflective and practical, you'll learn a highly-effective conversation structure which will bring you greater awareness of your own feelings when under pressure in the workplace, and help you to communicate those feelings to others in order to make them more understanding to your needs.

What difficult colleagues really are
  • The role of emotions with difficult colleagues
  • Why venting frustrations at work is a good thing
  • How venting can also be dangerous

Venting frustrations the right way
  • Best practice communicating with difficult colleagues
  • Nonviolent Communication - the history
  • Case study: Nonviolent Communication at Microsoft

How Nonviolent Communication works
  • The 4 steps of NVC
  • A deep dive into each NVC step
  • Putting NVC into practice in the real world

Solving your problems with difficult colleagues
  • Applying your learning to your frustrations
  • Making your conversation natural
  • Action planning for future success
Greater empathy
  • Appreciate why difficult colleagues behave as they do
  • See situations from both points of view
  • Help difficult colleagues develop empathy for you

Greater self-awareness under pressure
  • Understand why we react as we do to others
  • Ability to break the conflict cycle
  • Keep emotions under control where appropriate

A solid, repeatable conversation structure
  • Simple 4-part conversation format
  • Applicable to most difficult situations
  • Treat 'difficult colleagues' with more respect

Personal action plan
  • Take-away ideas for further practice
  • Clear actions to improve relationships
  • NVC cheat sheet and reference materials

Anyone who has difficult conversations with colleagues in the workplace, who would like to be able to take control of the situation and practively improve relationships.

As well as always having been at the heart of sales in a business, Neil Shorney, Principal Training Consultant, also spent 14 years managing a diverse sales team. With this diversity, came relationships which could be difficult between team members and departments. He knew from the start that there's no such thing as a difficult colleague - there are instead difficulties in relationships between two completely reasonable people.

Now, Neil spends much of his time running Navanter - our parent brand, where he specialises in bringing together the two opposing sides in most organisations: Sales and Delivery/Project Management. Again, salespeople aren't inherently 'difficult' (really!), and neither are project managers. But there are differences which need to be bridged.

So in this high-impact training session, Neil brings a combination of these experiences to show you how to modify your approach and improve your working relationships with colleagues you've previously thought of as 'difficult'.

Delivery method Client delivery
Face-to-face bite-size (assuming 3 sessions scheduled for same day) £1,500
Virtual bite-size £600

Learn more about our delivery formats.

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Further resouces about having difficult conversations

We've put together a document to help you to plan more effectively for difficult or challenging conversations you might need to have in the workplace. Download our cheat sheet on how to have a difficult conversation just here.

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