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Conflict Managment

A model for Dealing with Difficult People – Stage 3

By September 26, 2017February 2nd, 2019No Comments


You find them difficult.  You’ve tried ignoring them, but they just won’t go away.  Infact you’ve noticed that Difficult Person is becoming even more prickly than usual.  So what do you do?

Stages 1 & 2 of our Dealing with Difficult People model explain the importance of first observing and understanding what might be causing the situation with your difficult person – What’s going on for you and them, as well as assessing the options open to you.

The 3rd phase of our  Dealing with Difficult People model  comes into play when you have taken the decision to address those prickles!

We call it engaging the 3 A’s:    Attention, Action and Agreement


  • Your Intention Check it’s positive
  • Your Self Talk Check it’s enabling
  • Your Physical Presence Check your position, posture & body language
  • Your language Check it’s direct, non-judgemental & non- confrontational
  • Your “Difficult Person” Are you giving them your full attention? Are you listening?


  • Give feedback: Use the AID model & describe the change in behaviour you want to see
  • Use I statements: What I’ve noticed is… My perception is….
  • Avoid Blame, Buts & Absolutes such as, “You always” and “You never”
  • Be Assertive Use “I want” instead of “I need”
  • Ask Questions To clarify E.g.. “What specifically did I do?”
    “What needs to happen next?”

AGREE a way forward:

  • Keep track of improvements in behaviour
  • Meet with the person periodically and comment favourably on any improvements
  • And accept that Agreement is a position that is acceptable to both parties even if you don’t think it’s ideal!

We find it works.  Why don’t you try it out for yourself, and please do let us know how you get on with it the next time you are faced with your own difficult person!

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