Dealing With Difficult Persons

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    D E A L I N G WI T H

    DIFFICU LT PEO PLE:

    AA TT RR AA II NN II NN GG PP RR OO GG RR AA MM

    Developed by

    Martha Dennis Christiansen, Ph.D.

    Sam V. Cochran, Ph.D.and

    Julie Madison Corkery, Ph.D.

    University Counseling Service

    The University of IowaIowa City, Iowa 52242

    2000

    Third Edition

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    TABLE OF CONTENTS

    IntroductionProgram Description....................................................................................................1Sample Agenda...........................................................................................................2Bibliography.................................................................................................................3

    Communication SkillsInterview Skills Self-Assessment.................................................................................5Interview Skills Observer Sheet...................................................................................9Helping Principles........................................................................................................10Verbal and Nonverbal Attending..................................................................................12Barriers to Effective Communication............................................................................16Communication Model.................................................................................................17Ingredients for Communication....................................................................................18Confronting..................................................................................................................19

    Assertive Communication

    The Basic Tenets of an Assertive Philosophy..............................................................21Assertive Rights ..........................................................................................................22Examining Assertive Rights .........................................................................................24A Comparison of Non-Assertive, Assertive, and Aggressive Behavior.........................26

    The Three Response Patterns.....................................................................................27Types of Assertion.......................................................................................................28

    Coping With Emotional IndividualsWorksheet: Situations and Responses .......................................................................29Understanding Difficult Behavior ...............................................................................30Some Dos and Donts for Managing Difficult Interactions .........................................33Solve It Most Effectively...............................................................................................36Role Play Situations:

    Pitiful Paul ...............................................................................................................38Helping Pitiful Paul ..................................................................................................39Angry Arlene............................................................................................................40Helping Angry Arlene...............................................................................................41

    Discussion of Scenarios ..............................................................................................42

    Conflict ManagementConflict Questionnaire.................................................................................................43Conflict Questionnaire: Scoring ..................................................................................45Conflict Management Strategies..................................................................................46Five Basic Methods for Resolving Conflict...................................................................47Managing Conflict........................................................................................................48

    Program Evaluation ........................................................................................50

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    Introduction

    Program: Dealing With Diff icult People

    Facilitators: Sam V. Cochran , Ph.D. & Julie Madison Corkery, Ph.D.University Counseling Service, 3223 Westlawn

    The University of Iowa319/335-7294

    [email protected]

    [email protected]

    Program Description:

    The program is designed to provide an opportunity to learn more effectivestrategies for relating to angry, emotional, or tearful individuals. The programincludes a review of the components of interpersonal communication includingattending skills, responding skills and assertive responses. In addition, specificguidelines for dealing with emotional situations will be presented. Applications ofthese skills and techniques to specific situations generated by the participantswill be discussed and questions addressed. Problem situations and theirsolutions are role played in small groups.

    Target Population:

    Includes anyone who finds themselves in situations where they have to cope withemotional individuals (University staff and faculty; support, professional, technicalpersonnel; and supervisors).

    Time

    Negotiable. Typically one to three hours. Format and content are negotiateddepending upon the needs of the group.

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    Dealing With Difficult People

    S A M P L E A G E N D A *

    I. Introduction and overview of program

    II. Identification of issues and typical reactions

    III. Understanding difficult behavior

    IV. Dos and donts of dealing with difficult individuals

    V. Assertive intervention skills

    VI. Simulations and discussion

    VII. Applications, questions

    A component on conflict management can be incorporated.

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    Bibliography

    Anger Management

    The Anger Workbook Minneapolis, MN: Compcare Publishers, 1992Bilodeau, Lorraine

    When Anger Hurts Oakland, CA: New Harbinger, 1989McKay, M., Rogers, P., & McKay, J .

    Assertiveness

    When I Say No I Feel Guilty New York: Bantam Books, 1975

    Your Perfect Right San Louis Obispo: IMPACT Press, 1974Alberti, R. & Emmons, M.

    Self-Assertion for Women San Francisco, CA: Harper & Row, 1981Butler, Pamela

    Behavioral and Cognitive Self-Management

    Coping With Difficult People New York: Anchor Press/Doubleday, 1981Bramson, Robert M.

    Coping With Difficult Bosses New York: Fireside/Simon and Schuster, 1992

    Bramson, Robert M.

    Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy New York: Signet, 1980Burns, David

    The Feeling Good Handbook New York: William Morrow, 1989Burns, David

    A New Guide to Rational Living N. Hollywood, CA: Wilshire Books, 1975Ellis, Albert & Harper, Robert

    A New Beginning New York: Signet, 1983Emery, Gary

    Own Your Own Life New York: Signet, 1982Emery, Gary

    Precision Nirvana: Care & Maintenance of the Mind Prentice-Hall, 1978Shapiro, Deane H., J r.

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    Communication

    You Just Dont Understand: Women and Men in Conversation New York:Ballantine, 1990

    Tannen, Deborah

    Talking From 9 to 5 Tannen, Deborah

    Personal Growth

    Please Understand Me Del Mar, CA: Prometheus Books, 1978Keirsey, David & Bates, Marilyn

    Pulling Your Own Strings New York: Thomas Y. Crowell C., 1987

    Women and Self-Esteem New York: Penguin Books, 1984Sanford, Linda T. & Donovan, Mary Ellen

    Your Erroneous Zones New York: Avon Books, 1977Dyer, Wayne W.

    Stress Management

    Stress, Sanity, and Survival New York: Monarch, 1978Woolfolk, R. L. & Richardson, F. C.

    Stress Without Distress New York: Signet, 1975Selye, H.

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    Communication Skills

    Interview Skills Self-Assessment

    This form is designed to stimulate your thinking about your interview skills. It is intended tofacilitate your setting your own goals for development.

    The steps in using it:

    1. Read through the list of activities and decide which ones you are doing the right amount of,which ones you should do more of, and which ones you should do less of. Make a check foreach item in the appropriate place.

    2. Some goals that are not listed may be more important to you than those listed. Write somegoals on the blank lines.

    3. Go back over the whole list and circle the numbers of the three or four activities at which youwould like to improve most at this time.

    Adapted fromThe 1976 Annual Handbook for Group Facilitators, J . W. Pfeiffer & J . E. J ones (Eds.).

    Need to Need toOK Do More Do Less

    Communication Skills

    1. Being brief and concise............................................................... ____ ____ ____

    2. Being forceful............................................................................... ____ ____ ____

    3. Drawing others out ...................................................................... ____ ____ ____

    4. Listening alertly............................................................................ ____ ____ ____

    5. Thinking before I talk...

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