Speaking Programs

Dealing with Jerks!


Foul people require fowl tactics!

and with knee jerk reactions!)
Patt Schwab Ph.D., CSP

In the old days this workshop was called "Handling Difficult Customers." It acknowledged the fact that all of us interact with difficult people every day—and it did so rather nicely. As the years went on, however, Dr. Schwab became more realistic, or perhaps it was more jaded. At any rate she now concludes that, indeed, there are jerks out there. Unfortunately some of them masquerade as our clients, customers and co-workers. She also acknowledges that difficult people are tailor-made. One person's jerk is someone else's challenge, friend or even loved one!

In her workshop on "Dealing with Jerks," Dr. Schwab assists participants in identifying the types of difficult people who cause "knee jerk reactions" and in developing strategies to put such people into perspective. She discusses how we create difficult situations when our belief systems come into conflict with people who are different from us—or from how we think they should be.

Although the presentation focuses on how to handle the difficult client or customer, much of the material is applicable for dealing with multi-cultural environments and with difficult bosses, co-workers, or subordinates.

Dr. Schwab developed the material for this workshop over the nine years in which she was the chief disciplinary officer for the 5,000 students in the University of Washington residence hall system. Needless to say, in this role she saw her share of difficult people—and on occasions was herself called a difficult person by various recalcitrants. (She has also been called a few other things which, although more colorful, she chooses not to share!)


Meeting Planner Notes:
This interactive program is excellent as a 3-7 hour workshop. It can also include specific components on stress, humor, handling complaints and providing excellent customer service from a broader perspective than just dealing with the difficult people.

Target audiences: frontline staff and their leads and supervisors.

Download a printable version

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