Workplace stress – dealing with difficult people

Dealing with difficult people

Dealing with difficult people is the most reported psychosocial risk factor in European service industry workplaces.

A major European report has found that dealing with difficult people and time pressures are the two most commonly reported psychosocial risk factors in Europe’s service industry.

A significant report that surveyed nearly 50,000 businesses across 36 European countries found poor communication and lack of cooperation to be common psychosocial risks. The report states ‘These risks…can lead to serious deterioration in mental and physical health’.

Lack of skills makes dealing with difficult people difficult

One of the most frequently reported measures for preventing psychosocial hazards is the establishment of workplace conflict resolution procedures.

The report found that organisations:

1)    faced barriers to reducing such hazards, with some of these barriers being identified as lack of expertise and specialist support and lack of awareness amongst management; and

2)    were seeking more information and tools to help them manage psychosocial risks.

If you believe the outcomes of this report may be reflective for your organisation too, consider emailing Workplace Conflict Resolution today to enquire about the services we offer that significantly reduce the risk of your staff being exposed to psychosocial hazards. We offer obligation free proposals for our services.

 Our services include:

Workplace Investigations

  • Grievances
  • Cultural reporting
  • Review of previous investigations
  • Risk analysis

Mediation and Facilitation

  • Joint party (2 or more mediation process)
  • Facilitated Team Discussions
  • Senior Executive or Board level mediation/facilitation
  • Business to Business facilitated discussions


  • Prevention of Bullying and Harassment
  • Addressing inappropriate behaviour
  • Complaints handling
  • Conflict management
  • Difficult conversations
  • High demand or difficult employees / clients
  • Customer service
  • Leadership, communication, change, performance management, resilience
  • Cultural change

Executive Coaching

  • A series of 1-1 face to face or telephone coaching sessions for sustained behavioural change
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About the Author

Catherine Gillespie brings a wealth of skill to her clients. With particular expertise in teaching communication and workplace conflict resolution skills, Catherine has made a marked difference to the organisations she has worked with. She empowers teams and managers to adopt constructive styles that support harmony, productivity and progress in the workplace.