How to keep your cool with difficult people 

Customers, clients, patients and colleagues can be negative, nasty or demanding. Facing up to such people without becoming hooked into the negativity and escalating the conflict takes skill, self-awareness and high levels of emotional self-management.

Yet all people in customer service positions, from health-care workers, local government officers and property managers, through to call centre operators, retail sales assistants, aged-care workers and hospitality employees, face difficult or negative people on a regular basis.

The way that they handle them is crucial for the success of their industry or business, for the level and quality of care and service received, and for their own emotional and physical wellbeing.

The problem

  • People who face negativity and nastiness can easily lose control of their own emotions and become embroiled in conflict, unless they are highly skilled at keeping their emotions in check.
  • Once they become upset, frustrated, insulted or offended it can be very difficult for them to think clearly and say and do the right thing.
  • Some do not even understand that losing control is a bad thing and will argue they have a right to retaliate if they are not shown the respect they believe they are entitled to. This further compounds the problems and they lose sight of their reason for being employed.
  • In the end, what can start off as a minor grumble or irritation by a customer, patient or ratepayer, can develop into a full-blown complaint, and bad service be given in response.

The solution 

  • The solution is for people to learn how to shrug off other people's negativity, snide remarks and bad behaviour so they stay calm, cool and collected and can still think clearly.
  • Once they stop reacting emotionally they can let difficult, rude and angry people wash over them like water off a duck's back. It does not mean they condone bad behaviour but it does mean they do not add to a potential conflict or take the stress home with them.
  • Once they have their own feelings in a good place then they can sooth difficult, distressed and negative people and turn them around so complaints lessen. 

This dynamic, interactive and practical workshop will teach your people how to do this. Run this workshop now and see the immediate changes. 


Cheryl Weston Coordinator Library Services, Carnarvon Library & Art Gallery, Carnarvon, Western Australia, March 2019.

I would really like to thank you for your great workshop/presentation at our Regional Meeting last week.  There is no doubt in my mind that Emotional Intelligence training is something that every workplace should embrace; I have been raving about your sessions to various managers so get ready for the onslaught of interest/requests. Hopefully we’ll meet again … in Carnarvon.

The format

  • This is an interactive, practical and skills-based workshop presented in a relaxed, easy-to-follow and enjoyable format. 
  • Everyone will be given the opportunity to try out several "Cool" strategies for themselves. There will be demonstrations, role-plays, competitions, prizes, and laughter too.
  • Before the workshop we will contact you to find out about the participants' work situation so that the materials and examples are customised and relevant to the specific attendees and the particular kinds of people and negativity they deal with.

The presenter

Rachel Green, B.App. Sci (Psych). Grad Dip Ed (H&F). LCST. FPTG. AFAIM. CSP.

  • Rachel is the Director of the Emotional Intelligence Institute, an emotional intelligence and engagement specialist, and one of Australia's most dynamic and down-to-earth expert speakers. She is the author of the audio-recording, "How to deal with difficult people without getting upset", and the video program "How to develop emotional resilience and manage your emotions". 
  • She's been working in the area of emotional intelligence since 2004 and is accredited in the Mayer-Salovey-Caruso-Emotional-Intelligence-Test: MSCEIT, and the Genos model of emotional intelligence.
  • She's had plenty of practice at keeping her cool and has been a voluntary counsellor on a crisis line for 5 years, managed her own staff and business, chaired and served on committees, been married for over 35 years to her opposite personality type, and more.
  • She has presented this very popular workshop to many key groups and sectors throughout Australia. These have included to local governments such as the City of Greater Geraldton and the City of Kalgoorlie, and to real estate professionals such as RealMark and McGrath in Sydney; and many more including Baker Hughes in Perth and Victoria, Acclaim Holiday Parks, Fremantle Hospital ... 
  • She is practical, engaging, insightful and relevant.

Book "How to keep your cool with difficult people" for your team now.

Email us now and we will respond quickly.

Or if you'd rather, just pick up the 'phone and give us a call.